Do I Need To Replace My Roof Before Selling My House?

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before selling

When it comes time to list your home for sale, you undoubtedly come to the table with some questions. One of those questions might concern the condition of your roof, and whether or not you will need to replace it before selling your home.

Sometimes this decision is an easy one. If a rainstorm warrants buckets in the living room to catch a drip, or the shingles on your home are noticeable peeling back and damaged—then the answer is obvious. A new roof will be required before sale, as an inspector will not pass it.

However, sometimes the answer is a bit more hazy. Maybe the roof is several years old, but still performing well. Do you still need to replace it? Will a new roof increase the home value, or shorten the time that your home spends on the market?

These are the questions we are here to answer for you.


“I don’t notice any leaks, but the roof is several years old. Do we need to replace it?”

As noted above, sometime this answer is obvious. Clear damage to the roof or leaks in your home are a good indicator that the roof will need to be repaired or replaced. However, some damage to your roof can go unnoticed for a length of time. Although your roof may seem intact, there could be a leak in the attic, causing water damage, or even mold.  Or perhaps there is damage to your chimney cap that is allowing moisture in. Maybe a storm hit a few months back, and the shingles on your roof are hail damaged.

All of these scenarios are a possibility. If you haven’t had your roof professionally inspected within the past year, it is best to have someone come out and thoroughly look over your roof before you list the house.

The good news is that most professional roofing contractors will inspect your roof at no cost, with the understanding that if there is work to be done, they will provide an estimate for the job. There may also be a fee for the full inspection report, which is often waived when they are hired for the job. 

They will also be able to decipher whether any damage on your roof will be covered by your insurance. You are already busy enough preparing your house for the market, why not take some of the headache out of the process by letting a qualified contractor walk you through an insurance claim, if the damage warrants one?


“Will I get what I paid for a new roof back through the sale of my house?”

To understand the return on investment of a new roof in the reselling process, several sources point to an article in Remodeling Magazine which reports that, “Return on investment for a roof replacement averages 53.4% for a full replacement and 61.7% for a minor rehab.”

So in a sense, yes. You will receive some of that investment back through the sale price of your home. However, it is unlikely that you will make all of it back. But cost is not the only factor to be considered. Some homes simply cannot be bought before a roof is repaired or replaced, because they will not pass inspection. Also to be considered is the desirability of the home.


That brings us to our next question: “Will my home sell quicker with a new roof over it?”

There are several factors to take into account here. It pays to consider the current housing market in your area. If it is a seller’s market and homes are selling like hot cakes, then given that your roof will be passed by an inspector, it may not be necessary to have it replaced. Your house may sell quickly without a thought given to the roof, simply because buyers are more eager to get into a home. However, if the market is slower, it may take more work and investment on your part to prepare your house to sell quickly. A new roof can act as a great selling point. When it comes down to it, if you want your home to sell quicker, then it is best to have a good roof over it.

One thing to keep in mind is this:  because it is a pricey investment for any homeowner, the cost of a new roof often gets thrown into the hat for negotiations when it comes time to sell. If you don’t put a new roof on your house before the sale, then the cost of a new roof will likely be used by the buyer to lower the cost of sale.


You have a lot of decisions to make when it comes to selling your home. A new roof is one of those big decisions. When it comes to these decisions, you can always ask a realtor whom you’ve been working with and plan to use for the sale of your home. They are there for you as a great source of information.

Don’t allow the unknowns of the process to hold you back, or delay that “For Sale” sign from going up. Take the first step by calling a reputable, local contractor in your neighborhood to come out and inspect your roof, then help you decide on the best course of action for the quickest, most profitable sale of your house!


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