Roof replacement is a significant expense. When you sell your home, you may get back what you spend on a roof or even more. But you might also spend more on the roof than you see in increased home value. Whether you make money on the transaction or the return-on-your investment isn’t sufficient to cover your costs depends on your situation. Here are some factors to consider when thinking about roof replacement:
The Current Condition of Your Roof
Few things scare away buyers more quickly than a wet ceiling or attic. If they know a potential home needs a new roof, they will think twice about paying market value for the house. Not only are they aware they would need to take on an expensive roof replacement or major repairs, but they may also begin to question the home’s overall condition. If you didn’t address a failing roof, what other nasty surprises might the house be hiding? Deferred maintenance is scary to home shoppers. If your roof is in bad condition, it will scare off some buyers and cause others to offer less for your house.
Reach out to your local roofing contractors to see if simple repairs will fix any issues with your roof’s appearance or function. They can also tell you whether your roof has outlived its expected lifespan and needs replacement.
If your roof is newer and in good shape, you will likely see little value increase by replacing it. But if your roof is old or showing signs of failure, the money you spend on a replacement will increase your home’s value and make it easier to sell.
Roofs come in a variety of styles and price ranges. Consider the types of roofing on the homes around you. You don’t want to over-improve. If you do, you won’t get your money back when it is time to sell. Installing a high-end roof in an area where that’s not common may be worth it if you love how it looks or if superior longevity is valuable to you. But if you base your decision on resale value, there may be better investments than that expensive roof.
On the other hand, if you install a cheaper roof with a shorter warranty and an appearance that doesn’t match the homes around it, your house won’t fit into the neighborhood. That can decrease your home’s value. In most cases, you want to avoid having the nicest or the cheapest roof on the block.
If you are considering selling your home, avoid highly personal decisions. You may love a bright blue roof, but if a buyer hates blue, they will probably pass on your home. They may be willing to overlook blue walls since that’s relatively easy and inexpensive to change, but buyers won’t want to reroof due to a style preference. If you plan to list your home, stick with neutral choices that appeal to most buyers.
Likewise, you may be willing to pay for the best-looking, most reliable roof possible and expensive features like skylights. That may increase your enjoyment of your home while you are in it, making it a worthwhile investment. If you are only considering resale value, however, you may get a better return on your investment by skipping the extras and going with a mid-grade roof product.
Local Market Conditions
In a hot market, buyers are willing to overlook many things. They know they can’t be too picky, or they will lose out to other shoppers. In a buyers’ market, minor details matter. Purchasers realize they have many options, meaning they can be more discerning. As a result, they are much more likely to walk away from a house with roof issues or even one with an older roof that they know will soon require replacement. Local real estate agents and appraisers can help you determine whether your housing market conditions favor selling your home as-is or if you can expect to get your money back and see a faster sale if you replace your roof.
Buyers love “new.” When they hear that, they feel confident that they won’t face significant expenses shortly after purchasing the home. Including the phrase “new roof” in your listing can give you an advantage over the competition. If your home is older, a new roof will assure prospective buyers they won’t have to worry about roof repairs or replacement for quite some time, which could be enough to turn a home shopper into your home’s buyer. The money you invest in a new roof may pay off in a faster sale and a higher price.
While a new roof can be a fantastic incentive for buyers, you won’t always get back what you spend on the roof. Evaluating your home, the real estate market, the neighborhood norms, and how well your home lists and shows can help you decide whether you will see a positive return on the money you spend to install a new roof.