When selling your home, it’s important to set aside funds for repairs and renovations, as they will not only make your home more appealing to prospective buyers, but will often raise its value, as well. Roof repairs and replacement can be costly, however, and may not be necessary for every homeowner looking to sell. Below are three considerations to make when you’re deciding whether or not you should repair or replace your roof before putting your home on the market.
How Old Is It?
Perhaps the biggest consideration to make when deciding whether or not to repair or replace your roof is the age of it. If the property is old and you have no data from the previous homeowners, it can be difficult to know just how old the roof is. A licensed roofer can assess its condition in cases like these, but if you know when the home’s current roof was installed, you’ll have everything you need to determine whether or not it needs to be repaired or replaced.
The lifespan of a roof depends on the materials used to construct it. A typical asphalt shingle roof has a lifespan of 20-25 years, wood shake is a 30-40 year lifespan, clay and slate roofs last over 100 years, and metal roofs typically have a lifespan of 40-75 years. If you’re nearing the end of that lifespan and the roof hasn’t been maintained recently, you could almost certainly benefit from repairs or complete replacement.
If you plan for replacement, you’ll significantly increase the curb appeal of your roof, and can expect to recover around 60% of the costs to have it installed. Do note that property inspectors hired by the buyer will sometimes require you to replace an old roof, so it’s best to start pricing it regardless.
Has it Sustained Major Damage?
If you live in a storm-prone area, there’s a good chance your roof has seen major damage. Even if you’ve never experienced a leak, one may be just another storm away. Roofs that have already been exposed to inclement weather should be assessed by a professional, as they’ll have a much better idea of the damage and whether or not repairs are necessary in the short term.
Additionally, many home buyers will be savvy about the area and the potential of damaging winds or excess precipitation. They’re well within their rights to have an assessment done before they agree to buy, and if your roof is damaged, you will likely be required to fund the repairs anyway, or else lose the potential buyer.
It should go without saying that roof repairs are something you shouldn’t handle on your own unless you’re extremely experienced with DIY. Even then, it can be dangerous and cost-prohibitive, and if you don’t do it right the first time, it will just need to be redone. It’s best to hire a licensed contractor for the job. Type “roofing companies near me” into a search engine to search for local recommended roofing companies or use an aggregate site that lists the best contractors in your area.
Are Your Neighbors’ Roofs in Better Condition?
While you can’t directly compare your home against others in the area, potential buyers unfortunately will. If your neighbors’ roofs look newer and in better condition than yours, they may see your property as a money pit. It’s important to keep up the curb appeal, even if you aren’t part of a homeowner’s association. The rising property values will only benefit you in the long run, and if you’re looking to sell right now, neglecting this crucial part of the process can deeply impact how quickly and for how much your home is sold.
If you’re friendly with your neighbors, it’s a good idea to ask them when they last repaired or replaced their roof, too. That will give you some idea as to whether or not you’re neglecting yours, as homes in close proximity often have similar roofing needs, so long as they’re made of the same material. You could also get a good recommendation for a contractor who can do the job quickly and efficiently.
If you’re selling your home, it’s almost always worth the investment to get an assessment done on your roof. Once you have the opinion of a licensed contractor, you can decide if you need to make repairs or do a full replacement before listing your home. The market for sellers can be extremely crowded, and your roof is a large part of your home’s curb appeal — give yourself a leg up by making sure it’s in the best shape it can be.
Courtney Keene writes about all things DIY including home repairs, improvements, and renovations, as well as the DIY measures that can be taken when buying or selling a home. She is an avid DIYer herself and enjoys helping others make the most of their home ownership.