Home sellers often wonder what sort of repairs or upgrades should be done before putting their home on the market. When it comes to a home, one of the biggest expenses people worry about (and with good reason) is the roof. Roofs are a home’s number one defense against the elements. Not only are they very expensive, but leaky roofs can be the culprit of water damage, mold, and a host other problems. A new roof is often worth a lot to potential buyers, because it puts their minds at ease about any looming future problems.
In general, roofs last about 25-30 years (longer for tile). If you are about to sell, should you replace the roof? That depends on the situation, so the first step is to get roofing contractor to look at it. The inspector can examine the roof and let you know what may be needed so that you can make an informed choice. Having your own inspection also prepares you for what the buyer’s inspector may recommend.
1. Do you own the home outright? Your decision about replacing the roof may depend on whether you are looking to get a lot of money for the home. If you already own the home, you may not need as much of a return as someone who has a large mortgage and still hopes to leave with some cash in pocket.
2. Can you afford the cost, or will you need a home-equity loan? A home-equity loan can be used to make repairs, but that loan will also need to be satisfied when the house is sold.
3. What is the housing market like? At least for now, the San Diego housing market is hot enough that your home will likely receive multiple offers. Examine whether there are other homes for sale in the area that are priced in your range and, if so, what condition they are in. In a sellers market like this one, sellers are in control and don’t need to do much (if any) repairs such as a roof. Of course, when the market eventually turns, a major incentive to potential buyers is a new or repaired roof.
4. Will leaving the roof as is have a negative impact? Is it necessary to put a new roof on the property to prevent other damage to the home? If you have already seen leaking, you must act immediately. It may be hard for the buyer to get a mortgage if the roof is in bad shape.
If you aren’t interested in replacing the roof, you could investigate a partial repair to address immediate problems. Another option is to offer buyers a lower price or credit that factors in the potential cost of the roof. Some buyers may be more interested in replacing the roof themselves. This can also be good for a seller because it reduces their liability, should the roofing company do a sub-par job.
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