Do You Need a New Roof or Just Repairs?

Do You Need a New Roof or Just Repairs?
By Lorraine Ryall
Associate Broker, CDPE, CSSN, CNE
KOR Properties

There are many things to consider before putting your house on the market. One of them is which repairs need to be completed before listing.

Whether to repair or replace your roof before listing your home will depend on many factors. Here are some things to consider that may help you make that decision.

How Do You Know If Your Roof Needs to be Replaced?

Tile roofs are the most popular in Arizona but it’s not the tiles that fail, it’s the underlayment. The tiles will last 50 years or more, but the underlayment has a life expectancy of 15 to 20 plus years (although some can last a lot longer). You can’t just look at a tile roof and see that it is at the end of its life. Even if you know how old the roof is based on when the home was built it doesn’t necessarily mean it needs to be replaced.

The underlayment can be in very different condition from house to house depending on the quality of underlayment used and the installation. Don’t let anyone tell you it needs to be replaced just because of the age of your home — I have had several roofing companies tell me that on client’s homes. An inspection is the only way to know for sure.

What is the Condition of Your Roof?

Many roofers offer free roof inspections and whether you are planning to sell or not, having a roof inspection every few years is the best way to stay on top of any potential issues and know the current condition of your roof.

What to Look for When Choosing a Roofing Company

 Ensure you use a licensed roofing company.

 Have at least two or three companies come out to give you bids as they can differ quite significantly. As with most contractors, there can be a big difference in quality and integrity between roofing companies. I recently had a roof inspection for one of my clients by three different companies and the difference between them was staggering. The first roofer said the main roof had three to five years of life left before the roof needed to be replaced but the walk-out deck needed to be replaced immediately. Cost $6,550. For a completely new roof it would be $14,900. The second said the entire roof including the deck was fine and didn’t need anything. The third roofing company said the entire roof needed to be replaced immediately at a cost of $19,280. The buyer spoke to the two roofing companies who offered a bid and made the decision from there, but what a difference between them.

 Don’t always go for the lowest price. One example a roofer gave me was another company under-bid him by $1,800 for a small roof install. He later found out the cheaper company did not remove the old underlayment; they just laid the new underlayment on top of it. That saved the roofer the cost of labor to
remove the old underlayment as well as disposing of it all. So, while they bid a cheaper price it came with poor-quality workmanship that would cost the
homeowner more in the long run.

 Make sure the roofing company offers a good warranty and, most importantly, make sure that it is transferable to the new owner when you sell.

 Chances are, if your roof needs to be replaced, you have seen neighbors replacing their roofs. Ask them if they would recommend the company, check
online and read reviews, and one of the best ways to find a great roofing company is to ask a local Realtor. Realtors are a great source for referrals as we tend to know the companies that do the best work at the best price for all our clients.

Current Market Conditions

The market conditions can be a big factor in how much you need to do to your home before listing. We are currently in a seller’s market with less supply than
demand giving the seller the advantage and therefore having your home in tip-top condition is not as important as it is in a buyer’s market.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about getting your home ready to sell or for a list of the top roofing companies or other contractors.
Lorraine is a Multi-Million Dollar producing agent, has been a full-time Realtor
for over 14 years, is an Associate Broker of KOR Properties, a Certified
Negotiation Specialist, and is on the Professional Standards Board. You can reach
Lorraine at (602) 571-6799.