Do You Need to Repair or Replace a Roof to Sell Your House?

man fixing roof before home sale

Is it necessary to replace your roof in order to sell your home? New roofs are frequently advertised in house flyers and on the internet, but what should you do if your roof is old? Is it worthwhile to replace it before selling it?


Consider the price first. This varies greatly depending on the size and condition of the roof, the location of the house, the materials used, and who will be doing the work. A typical replacement costs between $4,900 to $14,100, according to Angie’s List. A slate roof on a large home with a lot of pitch, for example, can easily cost $100,000 or more.

Then think about your target market. When you’re in a hot market, buyers are more likely to look the other way in order to get their hands on your home. Buyers in milder climates may have an advantage in that transaction, as long as the property passes inspection — that is, the roof does not leak.

And the answer may differ based on whether you’re selling a primary dwelling or an investment property.

We asked three seasoned real estate brokers and investors what they recommend to their clients to receive some expert advice.

1. While a roof, along with mechanical systems, flooding and floodplain issues, vermin, asbestos, and radon gas, is one of the most critical components of a home, fixing your roof before to selling just removes one barrier to a signed contract. It is not necessary to replace a roof before marketing or selling a home, just as it is not necessary to replace windows or appliances.

We had a local roofer provide us with an estimate, which the seller was delighted to reduce from the sale price. We had the roof replaced after we moved in by the roofer who had installed the original roof, and we felt we had been treated properly in that element of the transaction.

Despite our inspector’s assurances that the heating system would last at least another five years, the heating system failed during our first winter in the house. The moral of the story is to always assume that there will be some sort of hidden cost when making a purchase.

2. You don’t have to replace your roof to sell your house, but it will be a turnoff to potential buyers and may reduce the overall worth of your home by more than the cost of the roof replacement.

Promoting a ‘new roof’ in your home’s listing, on the other hand, can be a key selling point for potential buyers. When talking about a house they’re selling, realtors appreciate leaning on something crucial like that, and having something like this on hand may be huge when they need to explain the higher asking price.

If you’re selling a house that needs a new roof, my advise is to replace it (unless you absolutely can’t) and reap the benefits throughout the selling process.


3. Instead of replacing the roof, most sellers should engage an inspector to see if there are any portions of the roof that can be repaired to verify there are no active leaks or missing shingles, and then address minor areas of deterioration.

When the buyer, together with their home inspector and roof inspector, inspects the property, they will see that the roof has been well-maintained but may need to be replaced soon. This provides you a little more negotiating power when dealing with any repair requests that come your way.

I would never advise a seller to completely replace the roof only to put it on the market since I don’t believe there is a large return on investment. Roof replacement typically costs around $20,000, give or take, depending on where you live.

It’s better to give that as a credit during the repair request and negotiate that amount than to invest that money up front and not see a return.

For both the seller and the buyer, each scenario is unique, and the advise they receive may change from one agent to the next. Inspectors’ perspectives may also differ. As a result, the best suggestion for deciding whether or not to replace the roof is to compare the cost against the amount you’ll make in the sale with or without it. In the end, the decision is yours to make.