Why You Should Negotiate for a Roof Replacement When You Buy a House

Save money on your new home by negotiating on the roof
Read Time: 3 minutes
Apr 2, 2023

A roof replacement can be expensive. On average, replacing a roof in the United States costs about $8,000, but can range anywhere from $5,500 to $11,000 depending on your location and the type of roof you’re having installed.

Why Should You Negotiate for a Roof Replacement?

Green shingle roof on home

A roof replacement is something that every house needs once the existing room has surpassed its life expectancy. As a new owner, the burden of paying for the roof replacement on the house you just bought doesn’t have to fall solely on you. The previous owners, who were the ones enjoying and maintaining the roof before you, can take on some or all of those costs.

Your two major options when negotiating a new roof on a home you’re buying are to secure a discount on the house or to have the sellers pay for the roof replacement.

Secure a Discount on the House

One option when negotiating is to receive a credit or to have the house cost discounted to account for the cost of a roof replacement. This is the option that most sellers prefer because they may not have the cash on hand to purchase the roof replacement outright. Even if they do, it’s a hassle to deal with the contractors and can take time away from their own search for a new house. Many sellers would prefer to just discount the house and then let the buyer handle the task of getting the roof replaced afterward.

Have the Sellers Pay for the Roof Replacement

The option that most buyers prefer is for the seller to just handle the roof replacement before closing. This would be the most convenient option for buyers because then the seller has to deal with the contractors. However, it may be more difficult to get the seller to agree to pay for the roof replacement instead of discounting the house.

How to Negotiate for a Roof Replacement?

Brown shingles on white house

Don’t let a roof replacement put you off of buying the home of your dreams. If the roof on the house you want needs to be replaced, you should negotiate with the current owners. You could potentially get a discount on the house or get the current owners to pay for the replacement. But how do you convince the previous owners to pay for the roof replacement?

Step 1

Convince the Seller to Pay for the Roof

The first step is to convince the seller that they should pay for the costs of replacing the roof. Your case will be helped by the home inspection, which will identify any problems with the roof. If you’re using a real estate agent, they should be able to help you negotiate. Your realtor may suggest to the seller that with the known roof issues, they’re unlikely to sell the house for as much without negotiating on the roof. This deep into the selling process, the seller probably won’t want to start over with a new buyer since the roof would still be an issue with another buyer.

Step 2

Get a Quote for the Roof Replacement

The next step is to get a quote for how much the roof replacement will cost. Knowing how much money will need to go into the roof will help you determine which option better suits you and the seller’s needs.

Step 3

Look at the Warranty

A roof replacement typically comes with a warranty. However, who the warranty belongs to may depend on who paid for the roof. Depending on how you and the seller decide to pay for the roof replacement, the warranty may end up belonging to the seller instead of you. If this is the case, you may want to handle the roof replacement yourself and accept a reduction in the cost of the house even though it would be more convenient to have the seller handle it.

Step 4

Ensure that Everything Is Legal

The final step, once you and the seller have come to an agreement, is to ensure that all of the paperwork is legal and binding. Your real estate agent can help with this process. It’s important for your own protection and for that of the seller to ensure that everything is legally binding in your agreement.

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