So you think you found your dream home. It’s in an established neighborhood, has plenty of upgrades and gets high marks for curb appeal. But if the home is more than 15 years old, it might need a new roof. Even if the roof is in good shape now, it will likely need to be replaced soon if it’s older. Negotiating the price of a new roof when you’re working with your offer can save you money and give you peace of mind.
But many new homeowners don’t know how to negotiate a new roof when buying a home. This guide will give you some tips so that you can make the most of your investment.
Is the Seller Required to Replace the Roof?
In the past, most real estate contracts included a clause that indicated that the seller would make any necessary repairs to the roof following the inspection but before the sale. Today, that clause isn’t boilerplate. Therefore, you may have to negotiate.
Sellers usually want to get as much as they can from the transaction. But obvious damage to the roof reduces the value of the home. They can offer the property as is and take the hit, or they can remedy the problem and sell the home at its full value.
But a new roof may cost $5,000 to $25,000, depending on the size of the house and type of roofing material. Sellers may be hesitant to invest that much if it won’t increase the home’s value by the same amount or more.
Instead, they may choose to make repairs. This may take care of any immediate issues. However, it could just be a band-aid. Eventually, the homeowner will have to get to the root of the problem. An older roof will continue to deteriorate, and the homeowner will need to replace it.
Your ability to successfully negotiate a new roof when buying a home depends largely on the market. In a booming housing market, buyers may not have as much leverage. When homes are selling like hotcakes, a complicated negotiation can’t compete with a streamlined sale. Therefore, your offer may be rejected in favor of a buyer who is willing to take the home as is.
Therefore, you should focus on the benefits that you bring to the table if you want to negotiate a new roof. Some elements that can enhance your buying power include:
- Making a cash offer
- Securing your financing by getting a fully underwritten pre-approval early on
- Offer a significant down payment
- Move quickly with inspections and appraisals
Understanding Your Options
It’s also important to understand your options. You usually have two choices for how to negotiate a new roof when buying a home.
The seller could pay for and complete the roof replacement before the property changes ownership. On the other hand, the seller can offer a credit or reduced purchase price if the buyer wants to complete the repairs after they own the property.
The second option is usually in the best interests of the buyer and the seller. The seller doesn’t have to hassle with contractors, timelines and other inconveniences.
Meanwhile, the buyer can ensure that the job is done right. Sellers usually aren’t motivated to shop around for the best quality. They want to put in as little time and money as possible. When buyers handle the roof replacement, they can use the contractor of their choice.
Moreover, roofing warranties don’t always change hands when a home sells. If the buyer is responsible for the repairs, they will also own the warranty.
However, there are some disadvantages when the buyer takes on the cost and responsibility of replacing the roof. If there is extensive damage, you may have trouble getting a mortgage. Furthermore, a homeowner’s insurance company might not offer a policy until the roof is replaced.
Because mortgage lenders usually require the buyer to have an active insurance policy, this situation presents a conundrum. It’s important to disclose these details to your lender so that you can make a confident decision and be satisfied with the results of your negotiations.
Start With a Detailed Inspection
According to the Texas Property Code, sellers must provide specific disclosures about the condition of the home before accepting an offer. However, there is usually a clause in the documentation that states that the buyer is purchasing the property as is. Therefore, there may be little recourse if an issue with the roof is discovered after the purchase.
Therefore, it’s essential that the buyer request a comprehensive inspection by a third party. Don’t rely on a close friend or home improvement aficionado to conduct the inspection. Used a licensed professional.
They’ll be able to identify issues that might otherwise go unnoticed. They’ll examine areas that are often overlooked for less obvious signs of roof damage. For example, an inspector should check the attic, walls, ceilings and gutters for problems. They will also look at the flashing, gutters and downspouts to ensure that they’re in optimal condition.
They can also go through the home’s maintenance records to look for red flags that indicate an ongoing or potential problem. Roofing records can often be accessed from the local municipality. They will also show the date of the last roof replacement.
Do Your Research Ahead of Time
If the buyer ends up taking responsibility for the roof replacement, they’ll likely research the best quality roofers when it’s time to get the job done. However, you should conduct this research ahead of time to improve your negotiating power.
Understand the costs associated with repairing or replacing a roof. Getting quotes from more than one roofer allows you to present an accurate assessment to the buyer. The more work you do, the less effort the seller will need to put in, and the higher your chances are of securing the offer.
Here are some guidelines for researching a roof replacement:
- Seek estimates from at least three different roofing companies
- Record the cost of repairs as well as a full replacement
- Get prices for different types of roofing materials
- Find out what materials are used on the existing roof
Alternative Negotiation Options and Strategies
How to negotiate a new roof when buying a home isn’t a black-and-white situation. There is a lot of gray area, which means that you may have some alternative options.
For example, the buyer can offer to split the cost of the roof repairs with the seller. But even if the seller agrees to pay for a new roof, the buyer can negotiate taking responsibility for selecting the contractor and materials.
Things become more complicated if you want to change the roofing style or material. If the buyer wants to replace the roof with upgraded options, they may have trouble negotiating a deal where the seller pays for the job.
Work with your real estate agent when making these negotiations. They’re the experts, and they understand what sellers are willing to do in the current market. They can help you take all of your options into account, deal with difficult homeowners and contact the seller with terms that the current homeowner is willing to accept. A licensed real estate agent will also ensure that the terms of the transaction are written and legally binding.
If you’re considering a roof replacement on a new home purchase, contact Presidio Roofing for a consultation. We’ll be happy to assess the condition of the roof, make suggestions and provide you with an estimate so that your negotiations go smoothly.