Should You Replace Your Roof Before Selling Your House?

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Posted on September 05, 2023

Should You Replace Your Roof Before Selling Your House?

If you’re ready to sell your home, you’re probably looking to get the maximum sale price without having to sink a lot of money into repairs. However since many buyers will be looking at the condition of the roof before making an offer, some sellers wonder if they should replace the roof before selling. The answer really depends on several factors, such as the condition of the roof and the real estate market where you live. Before making a decision, it might help to ask yourself the following questions. 

What is the Age and Current Condition of the Roof?

One of the most common questions buyers ask is “How old is the roof?” If your roof is just ten years old, buyers probably won’t worry about potential problems. But if the age of your roof is closer to 20 years or more, they may have concerns about its condition.


That doesn’t automatically mean you should replace the roof before selling. However, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have a roof inspection performed. If the inspection shows no issues, you have a clean bill of health to show concerned buyers. And if there are small things that can be repaired, such as missing shingles or a loose gutter, you can have them fixed before showing the house.  


If the roofing inspection finds more serious problems, such as the majority of shingles curling or cracked, you may want to replace the roof before selling your house. Even if you don’t have an inspection done, consider replacing the roof if you are aware of the following:


Excessive roof leaks. If you see yellow or brown stains on your ceiling and walls, so will buyers. These spots indicate that water has leaked through the roof and some of the framing. There could be a rotted roof deck and mold growth, so it’s best to consider a roof replacement. 


Moisture or mold in the attic. If there are holes in the roof, water can seep into attic insulation, causing a musty odor throughout the house. Mold could also be growing in the attic. Buyers will notice this smell as soon as they walk in, so it’s better to have it taken care of before putting the house on the market.   


Damage from trees and storms. If a tree fell on your house and you never addressed the roof damage, it’s time to do so now. The same goes for storms that knocked off large sections of shingles. Depending on how much damage has been done, you may want to replace the roof before selling. 

Will the Roof Pass a Home Inspection?

If a contract includes an inspection contingency, you will be required to fix anything major that the inspector finds wrong, or agree to lower the cost so the buyer can afford to fix it. 

You can expect a home inspector to check for:

  • The approximate age of the roof
  • Missing and damaged shingles
  • Missing flashing
  • Signs of water damage on the roof 
  • Signs of leaks on ceilings
  • Sagging or weak spots in the roof

While buyers with a conventional mortgage can choose whether they want to waive a home inspection contingency, government financing options like FHA or VA loans carry strict inspection requirements. A roof that doesn’t pass could mean no loan approval for your buyer. Should you replace the roof before selling the house, it could mean a higher chance of a sale going through. 

What Kind of Real Estate Market Am I In?

Most of the country is still in a seller’s market, which means buyers are in fierce competition when searching for homes. If your property appeals to investors who have cash in hand or buyers with conventional loans, they may want to snag it regardless of the roof condition. In fact, some buyers might be okay with replacing the roof themselves for aesthetic purposes, or to take advantage of energy-saving or environmentally friendly materials.


But if your property is in a price range for first-time or low-income buyers, they may not be able to afford to replace the roof…and may not be able to get financing if the roof is in bad shape. In this case, you may want to replace your roof before selling.

Should You Replace the Roof Before Selling the House? Consider an Honest Abe Roofing Inspection First.

It’s hard for homeowners to tell if problems with the roof could reduce the chances of a sale. Having a roof inspection before putting your home on the market can bring peace of mind that either says you don’t need to replace the roof before selling or allows you to make repairs needed before showing it. During an inspection, our Honest Abe roofing expert will: 


  • Examine the condition of the roof from the ground
  • Note any weak areas in the decking
  • Check gutters for granular deterioration
  • Check for buckled, blistered, or curled shingles
  • Inspect the attic for damage to the decking or rafters
  • Check for mold on the decking
  • Check for moisture in the attic

If we find that your roof needs to be replaced, we will discuss the best material options, get you a solid quote, and schedule your replacement right away.


When you’re ready to schedule a roofing inspection, give us a call or schedule an appointment online. 

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