Selling a House With an Old Roof In SF Bay Area

If you’re getting ready to sell your property, you may be asking yourself if fixing the old leaky roof is a must before listing.

Certainly, you don’t want to hand over a problematic house to the buyer. However, at times, you may lack the funds to cover repair expenses, leaving you in a bind.

To assist you in addressing any concerns, we’ve compiled this guide to navigate you through the home selling process, even if you’re dealing with missing shingles, leaks, or various other roof problems.

Selling a House With an Old Roof in SF Bay Area

The root cause of all problems that homeowners usually face is deferred home maintenance. Regular inspections can catch problems early. About 20% of inspections find issues with the roof. This makes sense since the roof shields your home. So, checking your roof regularly, especially after storms, could save you money. But not everyone can afford it, leading to bigger problems and costly repairs.

There are many signs of a bad roof to watch out for, and we’ve listed some below:

Light Shining in from the Outside

If you inspect the attic, you can quickly assess this. If light can enter, then moisture can enter too, potentially causing significant harm.

Water Stains or Traces of Mold

Stains or dark marks on the ceiling indicate a leak in the roof, which needs immediate attention to prevent mold growth caused by moisture.

Shingle Granules

Old roof tiles break apart, often ending up in your gutter and drainage system. When this occurs, it signals the need for a potential roof replacement.

Damaged Shingles

Curved, absent, or damaged shingles are typical wear and tear on a roof. You can replace individual shingles or explore alternative solutions for significant damage.

Sagging Roof

Your roof should always be in ship shape even after a hailstorm. If you notice any changes to the roof slope, it may be an indication that the structural integrity of your roof framing is compromised and repairs are in order.

If your roof’s condition has deteriorated so much that replacing it entirely is your only option, you may be asking yourself whether investing in a new roof will result in a complete return on investment when you sell.

Well, the answer to that is it depends on your choice of roofing materials

Roofing Materials

Asphalt shingles

On average, an asphalt shingle roof replacement would cost you approximately $20,000 which adds about $15,000 to your home value. This translates to around 68% of the amount invested.

Metal Roofs

McGraw-Hill Construction and Analytics reports that metal roofs are becoming increasingly popular nationwide in the real estate market.
And it is for good reason!
Metal roofs offer exceptional durability and can be tailored to suit individual preferences, with a wide selection of colors and designs, some even resembling clay tiles.
On average, expect to spend about $10,000 for a new roof, with a stunning 85% return.

Composite Shingles

Composite shingles are made from plastic and other recycled materials and designed to look like slate roofing.
It costs around $25,000 for a brand-new composite shingle roof and with a resale value similar to asphalt shingles. They are a great investment as they could last beyond 50 years!

Clay or Concrete Tiles

Tile roofs are a top pick for roofing as they resist fire, rot, and bugs. Plus, they keep their look much longer than shingle roofs and don’t fall apart over time. They fit well with many building designs.
Opting for tile roofing replacement could cost you $20,000 to $60,000, with roughly a 60% return on investment.

Recouping Value of New Roof: In Summary

While you may not be able to get back the total amount of money you put in, having a roof in great condition can definitely boost your home’s curb appeal. It would also help you sell your home faster if you’re going for a traditional sale attracting turn-key buyers.

If the home inspector spots problems with your roof, replacing it may not be the only fix. Sometimes, you may only need a few small repairs.  There are many repair choices depending on how bad the damage is, and some fixes could help your roof last longer.

Shingle Replacement

Individual warped, cracked, or damaged shingles can easily be replaced without making a dent in your pocket. You just have to be certain that the new shingles match your existing ones.

Shingle Replacement In SF Bay Area

Partial Re-roofing

Partial re-roofing should be considered if damage to your roof is highly localized.
Though not as costly as installing a brand-new roof, performing periodic partial re-roofing can accumulate expenses over time. Moreover, each additional re-roofing alters the roof’s slope slightly, which imposes a restriction on the number of times this can be done.

A total roof replacement would fall under major repairs, so expect it to cost a pretty penny. Still, if the only way to solve your problems is to replace your roof, there are two avenues open to you:

Roof Replacement via Roof Over

Sure, a “roof over” means putting a fresh roof on top of the old one. 
The new shingles get fixed onto the current roof, keeping the same appearance and function. You can basically advertise it to potential buyers as if it’s a brand-new roof.

Roof Replacement via Roof Over In SF Bay Area

Roof Replacement via Tear Off

Replacing the roof using this approach entails removing the entire roof and fitting a new one.
While it’s the most expensive choice (with a price tag of at least $20,000), it provides an opportunity to inspect the structural integrity of the purlins and rafters and make any necessary repairs. Moreover, if the roofing material is directly secured to the frame, it’s more durable and can extend the roof’s lifespan by around 20 more years, depending on the type of roofing materials employed.

Yes, you can absolutely sell a home with a bad roof! Whether your roof is 15 years old, 20 years old, or just bad and damaged, you can sell your home.

Options when Selling a House with a 20 Year Old Roof

So you have an old roof.
What now?
Fret not, you can either:

Option #1: Replace Your Roof Before Selling

Potential buyers, especially those new to owning property, typically seek homes that are ready for immediate occupancy.

They may not be pleased with the property deal if they discover the need for roof repairs or the potential necessity of a roof replacement. Not everyone is prepared to handle the hassles of renovating.

Additionally, if they are financing their purchase, the lender may refuse their loan application if the property is not in satisfactory condition.

While installing a new roof doesn’t guarantee a full return on investment, it serves as protection against severe weather, making it a worthwhile expenditure. It ensures the integrity of the entire home’s structure.

Replace Your Roof before Selling your house In SF Bay Area

Appraisers also take into account a new roof, increasing the property’s resale value compared to leaving it as is, which allows for a higher selling price.

Nevertheless, even if you have the means to replace or repair your roof before selling your home, it’s worth considering other home improvements that can further enhance its resale value.

Option #2: Sell the House As Is

If you lack the money to fix or change your roof, you may think about selling your home as it is for cash. This frees you from paying for an inspection, looking for a roofer, and overseeing the work. Swapping out a current roof can take a few days to around three weeks, depending on your home’s size, how easy it is to reach the roof, and the weather.

But who would willingly buy a house with a leaky roof? And for cash too?

The answer is a particular kind of potential buyer: the cash home buyer.

Cash home buyers can be property investors or house renovators who typically buy homes in bad shape. Even a condemned house can get sold to these kinds of buyers, as they are experienced pros in the field with a professional construction team who deals with the needed renovation and repair work.

Sell the House As Is In SF Bay Area

Cash buyers don’t need to wait for appraisers, inspectors, or loan approvals like other traditional potential buyers. This gets rid of the uncertainty of a deal falling through. Being able to do this lets them close quickly.

As an extra perk, there are no real estate agents involved, so you don’t need to fret about paying commission.

However, you should remember that real estate investors and house renovators view a run-down property as a business investment. Their cash offers are typically lower than market value since they consider all the repairs they may have to do, including replacing your roof, before they can sell it or rent it out for a steady income.

Still, with the time and money saved, selling to a cash buyer is quite common. Unlike most buyers, they often cover all the costs tied to the sale– including closing costs–and help you move on with your life sooner rather than later.

If you’re torn on what to do, ask yourself the following questions:

To answer this, getting your property inspected is crucial. It typically costs between $200 and $500, but it’s a worthwhile investment. It could save you from future expenses and problems.

Even if your roof is aged (over ten years), if the inspector confirms it’s still in good condition with no leaks or damage, you don’t need to replace it.

A positive assessment from the inspector will be detailed in the inspection report. You can utilize this report as a selling point when listing your property.

Taking stock of your financial condition and your willingness to undertake repairs is absolutely essential. Most homeowners in a rush to sell would rather pass on the burden of addressing the roofing concern to potential buyers.

In a bustling market with more sellers than buyers (a buyer’s market), prioritizing roof repairs before listing is a no-brainer. Otherwise, your property could linger on the market, making it even tougher to sell.

Conversely, in a seller’s market with high demand, buyers are less demanding. Selling the house as-is becomes simpler (even on the market). You may not need to do much, as the property sells itself. Occasionally, you may fetch the market value for your home even when selling as-is! Regardless of the market, you can always sell as is to a cash buyer with little difficulty.

Ultimately, deciding whether to repair your roof before selling boils down to the following:

  • Condition of your current roof
  • State of the real estate market
  • Availability of funds for repairs
  • Willingness to do the repairs
  • Your time horizon for selling

Keep in mind, that replacing your roof before selling may not pay off fully— it may not be worth the cost. If you want to skip repairs and open house hassle, consider selling to a cash buyer. Selling to a cash buyer means a quick closing. At We Buy Houses in SF Bay Area, we can help you with that! We work with local buyers who know your area well, so you’ll get the best cash offer for your property—no matter its condition! If you want to reach out, call us at (408) 557-7554! We’d love to help you sell your home, even with an old roof.
Ready to start? Fill out the form below. 🙂

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The Easiest Way To Sell Your House Fast In SF Bay Area

You’re in the driver’s seat when you accept our cash offer for your house. We make the process simple, fast, and easy to follow when working with us. You have no obligation to accept our cash offer for your home when contacting us for a fair cash offer for your home. No matter the reason you want to sell your house, we want to buy your home as is. Remember that you get many benefits that include no real estate agent commissions, no cleaning, no improvements, and no stress. Our cash offer for your as-is house assures you of fast cash payment at closing with a reputable Title company. You can count on our company to give you a fair cash offer for your home! If you’re still thinking, “I need to sell my house fast”, calling us could be your best decision all day. 🙂

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Gagan Saini

Author: Saini

My name is Saini, and I founded the We Buy Houses in SF Bay Area team with years of experience in the real estate industry. I have assisted numerous sellers in selling their homes quickly, “AS-IS”, and for a fair price.

He’s been featured in multiple publications including Yahoo Finance, GoBankingRates, LegalZoom, The Mortgage Report, Apartment Therapy, US News and World Report, and SuperMoney among others.

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