Selling a House that Needs a New Roof

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Even though the information on this web page is provided by a qualified industry expert, it should not be considered as legal, tax, financial or investment advice. Since every individual’s situation is unique, a qualified professional should be consulted before making financial decisions.

You can sell a house that needs a new roof. In my more than two-decade real estate investing career, I’ve come across transactions involving roof problems many times. Including ‘as-is’ sales. Yet, there are many details you should know to find a buyer and complete a transaction.

After reading this article, you should be able to choose the most beneficial course of action for your situation and deal with the problem. So, let’s get started.


How Can You Sell a Home with a Bad Roof?

Two Ways to Sell Your Home with a Leaky Roof

If you have noticed that your roof is leaking, then you’re dealing with a serious situation. Damaged shingles or deteriorated flashing around chimneys and vents happen over time. The solution may be minor repairs, or you may have to replace your roof entirely.

  1. First, you could avoid the time and expense of replacing your roof by selling your home in its current condition. Let the new owner deal with the problem.
  2. The second course of action will be to go through the process of replacing the roof yourself and then selling the house.

We’re going to go through the details of both methods of dealing with a bad roof. We’ll explain what’s good and what’s not so good about both ways to sell your home.

But first, let’s see what difficulties arise because of a bad roof when trying to sell your house.


Problems Arising When Selling a House that Needs a New Roof

You’ll notice that I separated selling to the general public from selling your house as-is. Most homeowners can’t buy a home with an unrepaired leaking roof.

Most buyers don’t have a lot of cash and use bank financing to make the purchase. They won’t have the money to fix the problem after closing. This also means that the buyer’s lender will require your property to be appraised and inspected.

Most states require that homeowners answer questions about their property on a residential property disclosure form. This will include questions about the roof. If the form doesn’t specifically mention the roof, it will instruct you to disclose any significant problems with the home.

The appraiser will see this form along with the contract. If the roof needs replacing, that will affect the home’s value. That will reduce the amount that the homeowner can borrow to buy your home. They will have to make up the difference with cash which they may not have.

The lender will see the appraisal. They will also ask about the inspection. Your property will be the collateral for their loan. They have to make sure that they can get their money back if the buyer defaults and they have to sell the house in foreclosure.

Inspectors will also note that the presence of water leaking through the roof may indicate damage elsewhere in the house. This uncertainty may make the lender turn down the loan because of the condition of your property.

Even if a homeowner has the cash to make the purchase without financing, the lender will still insist on inspections and probably an appraisal. Typically, a buyer who intends to live in your home will pass on buying a property that needs this much repair.


The Easy Way: Selling a House with a Leaky Roof As Is

The easiest way for you to sell your house is to sell it as-is. As we’ve discussed, this will eliminate many typical homeowners.

Let’s discuss how to target as-is residential property buyers.


Who Would Buy a House with a Leaky Roof As Is?

So far we’ve talked about the difficulty for a homeowner to buy your home as-is with a bad roof. They won’t be able to borrow money for the purchase and they won’t want to fix someone else’s problem.

So, to sell your home as-is, you’re looking for a buyer who:

  • will buy your house for cash,
  • is able to deal with a bad roof and other potential problems, and
  • is not buying the property to live in it.

You’re looking for a real estate investor to buy your home.

Real estate investors are professionals who actively look for houses that need repairs or updating. Their investment works best when they buy homes needing work for less than market value and do the work themselves.

They will make many carpentry related repairs themselves. For other work that involves licensed tradesmen or special skills, they have sub-contractors that they use regularly.

Investors act as their own construction managers. This enables them to do home repairs and upgrades for much less than the general public.

Some investors are house flippers who fix the property and sell it immediately. Others are long term investors who will rent the house after repairs.

Larger real estate investment companies search nationwide for suitable properties. Your potential buyer may be located on the other side of the country.

Read our article about selling your house to a real estate investor to educate yourself on this solution much deeper. And now, let’s discuss the benefits and drawbacks of going this route.


Advantages of Selling a Home with a Bad Roof to an Investor

Selling As Is

When selling your house in bad condition as-is, you don’t have to fix the problem yourself. You don’t have to use your funds for inspections, repairs, and possibly permits. And that’s if you have the funds available. You can sell even a condemned house to an investor without fixing it up.


Selling for Cash

Investors pay all cash. Most of the time and uncertainty in a home sale comes from dealing with the buyer’s lender. When you sell your house for cash as is, this means no appraisals and no third-party inspections. It also means no last-minute decision on whether the lender approves the buyer and your home.


Selling Fast

Investors are professionals. They are constantly reviewing property values and the housing market. They can calculate your home’s value for themselves. They can also determine your home’s condition. They don’t have to wait for appraisers, inspectors, or lenders and can often close in a little as two weeks.


No Realtor Fees and Closing Costs

Professional real estate investors don’t need brokers. This relieves you from expensive commissions. They will usually include closing costs in their offer so that you don’t have to come to the closing table with any funds.

To learn more about this, you can read our articles:


Fewer Inconveniences than in a Traditional Sale

With a professional investor, you won’t have to deal with traditional marketing methods that inconvenience your family like showings and open houses. The only person you deal with is the one who is buying your home.


Disadvantages of Selling a Home with a Bad Roof to an Investor

Because of the cost of repairs, and in order to ensure the profitability of their investment, an investor will often pay less than market value for a home like yours.

However, when you consider the repair costs, closing costs, time, and uncertainty of a traditional sale, a sale to a real estate investor may be your best choice.


How to Get the Best Offer from an Investor?

It’s always best to get multiple offers. You’ll want to reach out to several investors. You should research them carefully and confirm that they are:

  • Active in your area
  • Interested in your type of property
  • Experienced
  • Reliable
  • Able to close as promised

You can spend a lot of time online finding investors like this, and more time researching their reviews.

The other way to find your buyer is to use the platform HouseCashin.com. HouseCashin has done all the research for you. We have selected reliable professional real estate investors so that they can put them together with home sellers like you.

Fill out our “Request a Cash Offer” online form to get a number of offers from our carefully selected list of reputable real estate investors. After evaluating each offer, choose the one that benefits you most and close on your home in just about a week or two.


The Hard Way: Replacing a Roof Before Selling the House

This way of selling a home with a bad roof will have you doing everything. You pay to replace the roof and then market it to the general public with a licensed broker or as a “For Sale By Owner (FSBO)” listing.


How to Know if Your Roof Needs a Repair or Full Replacement?

If your roof is in bad shape, there are several things that you should do.

If your roof is leaking, make sure that the water is not causing further damage to other areas of your house. You might have to cover items in the house or put a tarp over part of your roof.

If you already have mold in your attic because of a bad roof, you may want to read our articles on selling a house with mold problems and selling a house with water damage.

If the problem was caused by damage from a storm, you should call your insurance agent. They will send out an adjuster to see if the damage is covered by your policy. If your roof is having problems because it’s old, your homeowner’s policy will not cover that.

Next, have your roof inspected. Make sure that the inspector is a licensed roofing contractor.

Once you know what has to be done, you need to select a roofing contractor to do the work. Make sure that they are also licensed and insured.

Get several quotes and compare them. The quotes should show what type of materials will be used and if they have a manufacturer’s warranty. Ask each roofer if they warranty their work as well. Workmanship should be warrantied for at least 5 years.

You should insist that they remove and dispose of any shingles and debris that they remove. If your roof has to be replaced, there will be a lot of nails in your yard afterward. They should agree to sweep the yard with a magnet to pick up all nails that fall from the roof.

They should also be able to handle all repairs related to the damage. You don’t want to cover up underlying damaged wood with new shingles or flashing.


How Much Does Repairing or Replacing a Roof Cost?

The cost of repairing or replacing a roof can vary greatly depending on a number of factors;

  • Location
  • Materials
  • Shape and complexity of the roof

The breakdown of roofing costs is about 40% for materials and 60% for overhead and labor. For example, if you spend $8,000 replacing your roof, about $4,800 will go to overhead and labor and about $3,200 will be spent on materials.

The average price to repair a roof is about $885.

However, depending on where you live, the average price of replacing a roof is from $8,000 to $12,000. The actual price can be much higher.

Let’s look at the details of why roofing costs can be so different.


Roof Inspection

A roof inspection should be performed by a licensed roofing contractor. The inspector will be looking at several areas in order to determine the condition of your roof:

  • Materials – how old are the roofing materials, is the wear and tear normal for that age, is there any damage from debris or weather such as hail?
  • Structure – are there any sagging or uneven places in the roof?
  • Leaks – is your roof performing its intended purpose?

The inspection will include exterior and interior reviews of the top and underside of your roof.

Inspections typically cost between $120 and $300. They can cost more, up to $600 or $700 if your roof is larger or more complicated.

In some parts of the country, roof inspections cannot be conducted in the winter months, so prepare to have your inspection done before then.


Repair Permits

Whether or not a permit is required is determined by your local municipality or county. Some minor repairs may not require a permit, but you should be careful to check first.

Once the work is done, make sure that your contractor orders any final inspections and closes the permit.

The cost of a permit is determined by the amount and value of the work being done. The average cost of a permit for roof work in the US is from $150 to $400.


Roofing Materials

Roofing materials have a large impact on the look of any property. They can also have a large impact on the cost of repairs. Homeowners can select from a wide variety of materials with an equally wide range of costs.

Roofing costs are calculated by roofing squares, also called squares. A roofing square is 10 feet by 10 feet or 100 square feet.

Standard 3 tab asphalt shingles cost from $90 to $120 per square.

Dimensional or architectural shingles cost around $450 to $600 per square.

Premium laminated shingles that look like super expensive slate tiles cost $700 to $950 per square.

Actual stone and tile can cost anywhere from $800 to $4,000 per square.

Metal roofs can run from $500 to $1,800 per square.

The difference between standard asphalt shingles and architectural shingles for a 1,700 square foot single level house can be over $7,500. You can see how replacement costs can vary.



Let’s start with average labor costs. In the US, the average cost for roofing work is from $150 to $300 per square. This can change depending on the shape of your roof and the materials being used.

If your house has a complex roof system with multiple valleys and a lot of penetrations for chimneys and vents, the cost of labor will go up. Some types of materials are more difficult and time-consuming to install. A roofer will charge more for installing or repairing those types of roofs.

The pitch of your roof can increase your labor costs as well. Steeper roofs are more dangerous for roofers. They will have to use safety measures that make the work take longer and they will charge more. Some roofers charge by the hour for jobs like this.

The climate of the location and the time of year can have an effect on your costs as well. In some parts of the country, the work can’t be done at all during the winter months.

Some states have strong regulations and restrictions on the disposal of old materials and debris. This can create large price differences in various parts of the country.


What Do I Do After Repairing the Roof?

Once your roof is repaired, you can begin selling your home.

First, you need to decide whether you want to engage a broker to list your home for sale, or try to sell it yourself. When you sell your house without a broker, it’s called a For Sale By Owner or FSBO sale.

The primary reason to sell your home by yourself is to save money on realtor commissions (6% on average, divided between the buyer’s and seller’s agents). In a FSBO sale, you should, however, be prepared to at least pay a 3% commission to the buyer’s agent, because about 80% of buyers use one.

Without a broker, you’re missing access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). The MLS puts your home in front of thousands of brokers who have buyers in hand.

You also don’t have the forms that are needed for a real estate transaction. Some of them are specifically required by your state. A buyer’s agent will present you with some of these forms on behalf of their client. If you are not familiar with them, you will be at a disadvantage and could make costly mistakes, without being represented by your agent.

Realtors take care of scheduling showings for prospective buyers and appointments for appraisers and inspectors.

The broker will handle all the marketing, but they will likely require your house to be staged for pictures and showings to the public. When showings or open houses are scheduled, you and your family will need to leave the house.

When reviewing offers look for contingencies, that could derail the sale of your house. If the highest offer is contingent on the buyer selling their home, it may not be the best offer.

Make sure that you have all the paperwork from the roof repairs. That includes the warranties from the materials manufacturer and the contractor.

Also, expect the buyer’s inspector to note any water stains they find. This may raise questions about possible damage in other areas of the house. Be prepared to answer questions about this.


Should I Sell My Home As Is or Repair It?

The decision on whether to fix your roof or sell your home as-is has a lot of variables.

The part of the country you live in, the size and shape of your roof, and the kind of materials you’ll need will all play a part in your decision.

If you have the money, time, and energy to order and oversee any needed roof repairs, marketing your home, and negotiations with the buyer and their agent, then this gives you a chance to maximize the property value before the sale.

If you don’t have the funds, time, and patience for repairs and the following traditional sale taking 2-4 months on average, you are risking further damage decreasing the property price while you wait. Selling your home in its current condition is an option that you should consider.

If you don’t have the money to fix your roof, you shouldn’t feel as if you have no options. Once you subtract the cost of repairs and realtor commissions from a full sale price in a traditional transaction, selling your house as-is to an investor may net you more money than you think.

To maximize the value you get from the sale of your property to an investor, consider requesting a cash offer from HouseCashin. We are a national platform connecting homeowners looking to sell their house fast and for cash with real estate investors willing to help them.

Fill out our “Request a Cash Offer” form to get a few offers from competing real estate investors working in your area and vetted by our reputation standards. Then choose the best offer and quickly close on your home within a couple of weeks, skipping the inconveniences and upfront expenses of a traditional real estate sale.

About the Author
Brian Robbins | Real Estate Investor

With over 20+ years of experience in real estate investment and renovation, Brian Robbins brings extensive knowledge and innovative solutions to the HouseCashin team. Over the years Brian has been involved in over 300 transactions of income producing properties across the US. Along with his passion for real estate, Brian brings with him a deep understanding of real estate risks and financing.

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