Should I Replace My Roof Before I Sell My Home?

male worker replacing asphalt shingle roof


Your roof needs significant repairs and probably should be completely replaced, but you are planning to put your home on the market and hopefully sell very soon. Is it worth replacing the roof before you list your home? Ask yourself the following questions to help make that decision.


 How’s the market?

You need to evaluate the speed with which comparable homes in your area have been selling. If you are in a strong market with more demand for homes than available stock, you may be able to find a buyer for your home who won’t balk at having to immediately replace the roof. However, if home sales in your area are slow, a roof that’s in bad condition could discourage buyers from even considering your property.

Because of the expense of roof replacement, it can easily become a point of contention in a home sale. Buyers can negotiate a lower purchase price to account for the impending cost if it will quickly reach the end of its useful life. However, not replacing it can actually be a savvy choice for sellers; the return on investment for a roof replacement averages only 51.8% in northern midwest states like Iowa in 2016, according to Remodeling Magazine.  


Do you actually have a choice?

A roof that is at the end of its useful life or that has significant problems may be an impediment to a buyer financing his or her purchase through a lender. A lender will commonly make completing repairs a condition of loan approval. When that happens, the seller is usually required to make (and pay) for the repairs prior to closing.

If you aren’t sure if your roof is reaching the end of its useful life, consult with a roofing professional. A roofing specialist can perform maintenance service on your roof and then certify it for an additional three to five years. This can provide peace of mind for a lender and help your home sale go through smoothly.


How’s the condition of the rest of the home?

If your home is in pretty good shape, is a good size compared to others in the area, and is generally otherwise in move-in-ready condition, replacing your roof can make sense before trying to sell. You’ll attract buyers who are looking for a turnkey home and want to avoid dealing with construction or repair projects on their new home.

If your home needs significant other upgrades or repairs, however, it may not be worth it to replace the roof—especially if a buyer would be likely to immediately put on an addition, bump out dormers to convert an upper floor, or otherwise change the footprint (and roof configuration) of the home. It makes more sense for the buyer to put one continuous, uniform new roof on the home after those improvements are complete.


How long will you be staying in your home?

If you’re trying to get out of your home as quickly as possible, and your local real estate market is strong enough to support a sale despite the condition of the roof, you may choose not replace. Price your home appropriately, and alert the buyers to the necessity of impending repairs before the inspector brings it to their attention. 

If you’re planning on staying in your home for some time—particularly through the winter—you may want to replace your roof now. Your family will enjoy the benefits of your new roof during the interim, including improved home comfort and lower energy bills. Plus, you avoid the danger of more serious damage resulting from your aging roof, which could delay your sale and cost you more.


If you’re planning to sell your home and suspect your roof may have significant problems, have your roof inspected by a professional, and get an estimate for replacing your roof. Knowing your options can help you decide whether to replace your aging asphalt shingle roof or lower the sale price (and figure out by how much to do so). Contact Hedrick Construction in Ames, to schedule an inspection and get a free estimate to replace the roof on your Central Iowa home.


Need a New Roof? Contact Us!