Preparing a house for purchase, and then actually selling it, can understandably be a stressful experience for homeowners. Making upgrades and improvements to your property, uncluttering your house for showings, cleaning your home—there is much work to do, not to mention you might be simultaneously shopping for a new home as well. Amid all these tasks, the one that’s easy to overlook is the roof. After all, you might be more concerned about what the inside and ground-level exterior of your house look like, not what’s on top.
Unfortunately, one of the first things that home inspectors check on is the roof. If there’s a problem up there, the appraisal value of your house is going to suffer. If the problem is big enough, the sale might fall through. Here’s a look at how your roof affects the appraisal value and salability of your home:
Solid Roof, More Value…and Vice Versa
A new or updated roof offers one of the best returns on investment of any home improvement you can make. One study pegs the ROI at 105 percent—impressive considering that most repair projects fall far short of recouping their initial value. Even if a new roof doesn’t pull in a full return, it still adds value to your house. First and foremost, it is simply more attractive to buyers. A new roof, especially in an older neighborhood, stands out on a listing. Potential buyers may be willing to overlook smaller details if they know the roof won’t be a concern for years or even decades. Moreover, your asking price won’t be viewed so skeptically if it includes a new or updated roof.
On the other side of the argument, a roof that is in need of repair or replacement can put a serious dent in not only your appraisal value but also the salability of your home. Look at it this way: A house that requires a new roof may be immediately viewed as a fixer-upper and command less at sale. Furthermore, as already stated, a bad roof can kill a sale, thus keeping your house on the market longer and ultimately affecting what kind of profit (if any) you return.
Potential buyers’ first impression of a house will be from the outside, as soon as they pull up in their car for an open house or just to get the information flier from the “for sale” sign. If they see missing or mismatched shingles, gutters in disrepair, or a generally drab, old-looking roof, they might not be too optimistic to learn more about the house. This is definitely another case in which a new roof might not add a tremendous amount of appraisal value, but the lack of one can decrease your home’s worth. If buyers see a brand-new roof, especially if it’s slate or metal, they could already be bringing a positive attitude to the home before even looking at the info sheet or stepping inside.
If you take the bold, and smart, step of replacing an outdated roof before putting your house on the market, consider also purchasing an extended systems warranty to cover the roof. Most shingles come with their own warranty out of the box, but when the house is sold, that warranty doesn’t transfer to the new owners, meaning they would be on the hook if something with the roof failed. An extended systems warranty is transferrable, giving the buyer peace of mind that any problem with the roof would likely be covered. A warranty might not bring extra appraisal value per se, but it is an attractive add-on for potential buyers—an add-on that will increase salability.
Have you considered roof work before putting your house on the market?