Should You Replace Your Roof Before Selling Your House?

By Gabriel Callaway

May 4, 2022

If you are planning to put your house up for sale, some of the most critical questions you need to consider are: "Do I need to fix/repair anything with my roof?", "Will it be better to replace my roof entirely?", "Should I sell the house as it is?"

Given that the answer varies from one home to another, you must carefully consider relevant factors. Let's discuss everything you need to know to decide on replacing your home's roof.

Deciding Factors for Roof Replacement

Generally, deciding whether (or not) to replace your roof before placing it on the market is a great choice boils down to 4 deciding factors: Condition and status of the roof, total cost, local housing market, and how soon do you want to sell.

Condition and Status of the Roof

Simply put, you need to assess the lifespan left on your roof. A roof's lifespan will depend on its material, the weather conditions in your region, and proper installation. Most roofs less than 20 years old without any persistent major issues will likely last you at least a few years more.

It would be best to have your roof assessed by a professional. They can tell you if any underlying roof-related issues need to be solved, which may otherwise discourage potential buyers from purchasing your listed property.

Total Project Cost

Keep in mind that a total roof replacement can cost you anywhere between $6,800 and $25,000. This will depend on several factors such as the square footage, pitch/slope of the roof, number of penetrations (vents and skylights), tear-off and disposal fees, and ventilation requirements. Many homeowners are adamant about installing a new roof, especially if they want to sell their homes as soon as possible. But, you will need to look at the bigger picture– the investment versus the potential profit.

Important Note: According to the National Association of Realtors, a new roof installation gets you up to 107% of its cost at resale.

So, if a roofing professional advises you to consider a roof replacement, it is likely that you'll regain this investment in the long run.

Nearby Housing Market

Another important thing is to know your housing competition. This is especially crucial if you're not working with a real estate agent to help you sell your property.

Research available homes in your region within the similar price range you're aiming for and observe if they have a new roof. Monitor how quickly the houses with new roofs are selling. But if there's no clear trend with new roof installations, you may be better off doing repairs to extend the lifespan of your roof for at least a few more years.

How Soon do You want to Sell

How quickly you want the sale will primarily depend on the current housing market. Aside from the market conditions, you will also need to ensure your property makes for an appealing purchase and an easy buy for interested buyers.

Homeowners with a brand new roof are likely to be spared from inspection issues. This helps potential buyers from backing out from the sale due to roof-related concerns.

Ask the Professionals to Assess the Roof’s Condition

Once an inspection determines significant roof issues, it would be best to consult a local roofer to give you a rough estimate for repair or a full-on replacement. This allows you to set aside the proper budget and determine if you can afford to embark on such an improvement project.

Note that cost estimates will vary depending on several factors. As such, consult at least three roofing contractors to get a range of estimates.

Advantages of Roof Replacement Before Selling Your Home

One of the first things potential buyers look at in an available property is the roof condition. So if they see visible cracks, sag, missing shingles, or leaks– they may back away from making the purchase official.

Some homeowners offer potential buyers an allowance for roof repairs or a discounted price to cover the cost of roof replacement, but not all buyers may want to deal with such a hassle. They may just let go of your listing and consider others with a roof in excellent condition.

Installing a new roof also improves the home's curb appeal, making it easier to sell. Here are other benefits of a brand new roof:

  • Improved energy efficiency
  • Better protection from extreme elements (hailstones, heavy snow, downpours)
  • It comes with an innovative sealing technology that keeps the roof highly durable and intact for many years
  • More comfortable everyday environment
  • Generous warranty coverage
  • Improved architectural appearance and curb appeal
  • Increases the home's resale value (average ROI between 2/3 to 3/4 of the total roof replacement cost)

Disadvantages of Roof Replacement Before Selling Your Home

Before selling your home, the main downside of a roof replacement project is the total project costs. It's no secret that a new roof installation can be a costly investment, and there's no 100% guarantee you can recoup the prices at the time of sale.

Roof Repair Vs. Roof Replacement

If your roof needs professional attention, you have two options: repair or replacement. A quick roof repair service could be a viable option for you, but it relies on your system's present condition. Keep an eye out for the following signs:

  • Shingles that are curling, buckling or missing
  • Nails or fasteners that are exposed
  • Flashing is torn, dislodged, or absent
  • Vents, skylights, and chimneys condition
  • Attic leaks
  • The roof is already old
  • Shingle particles have accumulated in gutters and drains

A professional repair may be necessary if your roof is not outdated, appears in good condition, and has a localized problem spot. If your roof's expected functional life is nearing the end, a roofing professional may perform maintenance service and certify your roof for another three to five years. Therefore, having a trained roof inspector check your system is the only way to determine the best course of action. (Related: Making Old Roof Look Like New in Portland, Oregon)

Frequently Asked Questions

Will a new roof lower my energy bills?

Roof replacement might help you save money on your energy bills if your roof is old and inefficient. While it's preferable for the attic to be near the outside temperature, excessive heat in the summer indicates a lack of ventilation. This might cause the HVAC system to work excessively. A new roof reduces energy expenses with ventilation and sound materials that prevent unwanted drafts and water leaks.

Is new roofing a good investment?

Quality roofing is one of the most profitable remodeling projects. Installation of a new roof includes the following benefits:

  • Different shingle colors add depth to the property, increasing curb appeal.
  • Increased property value with ROI of 60% or more.
  • Prevention of ice dam during winter.
  • Roof replacement of excellent quality is built to last a lifetime.
  • Professional roof installation and attic ventilation may lead to energy savings.

What do I need to prepare for new roof installation?

If you need to replace your roof, there are a few simple things you can do to make the project go more smoothly. Remove any loose items from your shelves and walls first. When you hammer on your roof, you may create enough vibration to cause unsecured things to fall.

Clear your driveway and the spaces around your house as much as possible. Roofing debris may fall into the driveway. Your contractor will also appreciate the extra room for work vehicles and supplies.

How long will my new roof last?

Even the highest-quality roofing system will reach its lifespan. However, investing in better materials and contractors will ensure that your roof will last a long time. Typically, a new roof should last at least 20 years. Depending on maintenance, weather, and the original design, roofs can last longer or shorter.

Gabriel Callaway

About the author

Before Boss Exteriors, Gabe had his first company Callaway Construction Company for about 8 years. He started out of necessity to provide for himself and his family. Being self-taught, he was running everything solo for a couple of years in the beginning, and was doing all sorts of services. From flipping homes and doing all kinds of interior remodelling and contractor work, he recently shifted gears completely and niched down mostly to roofing, which is what Boss Exteriors is now. Channeling all his experience in being a general contractor for almost 10 years, he's now funnelling his expertise into the mastery of roofing to give customers an even better service and experience.

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