Disclaimer: In some states and provinces, it is legally mandatory to disclose any roof damage or leaks you knew about, or should have reasonably been aware of, before you sell your home. Always be familiar with and abide by the laws in your area.
A new roof is always a powerful marketing tool when you’re looking to sell your home. As your real estate agent will likely tell you, buyers appreciate a new roof because they know it will save them the hassle of a reroof. Most buyers can’t handle large expenses, like a new roof installation, after they’ve just purchased a home. To err on the side of caution, they simply may not put in an offer on a home with an older roof. Does that mean that adding a new roof will increase your home value? It depends.
A roof that is nearing the end of its life span or is leaking will decrease your home value and is worth replacing. However, investing in premium shingles may not necessarily get you the home value boost you expect. It’s hard to pin down exactly how much a new roof will increase your home value. You’ll need to weigh factors, like roof condition, real estate market conditions and buyer desires.
We’ve collected the research on how much new roofs add to home value. We’ll walk you through which factors make a new roof a smart investment, and which reduce its value. If it turns out that a new roof is worth it to help you get the most money for your home, you’ll want to read our exploration of which shingles will get you the best return on investment. Lastly, we’ll cover some legal concerns you should look into when you’re considering whether you should replace your roof.
The research that has been conducted on how much value a new roof will add to your home is somewhat mixed. One study finds that a new roof is a reasonable investment. Remodeling’s 2019 Cost vs. Value Report found that the average American homeowner spends $22,636 on a new asphalt shingle roof of midrange quality. That new roof will increase the home’s value by $15,427, on average. That works out to 68 percent of the investment.
Yet, other research has found that a new roof adds much more to the appraisal value. The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) released a remodeling impact report that found new roofs provide a 109 percent return, which means you could make a profit on your new roof.
While putting on a new roof is clearly a good investment, how do you know if your roof will make you a 60 percent return or if it will boost your home above its own costs? There are at least three factors you need to consider: the condition of your roof, the housing market conditions in your area and the type of replacement roof you choose.
Keeping your roof in good condition is considered a basic part of home maintenance. It’s just like keeping the plumbing in order. Homeowners assume you’ve treated the plumbing well and will find it very off-putting if they discover a leak. Not only will they be concerned about the leak, but they will also wonder if the home has other maintenance issues. Roofs are the same in a buyer’s eyes. Most home buyers will expect the roof to be in good condition, and, if it’s not, they’ll be very reluctant to buy. Few have the money and energy to undergo major roof repairs after they’ve purchased a home.
Local appraisers will undoubtedly notice if your roof is in poor condition and will reduce your home value accordingly, depending on how serious your roof problems are.
However, if your roof is, say, five years old and in relatively good condition, a new roof may not offer you much benefit. Put yourself in the buyers’ shoes. Would you pay more for a home that has brand-new plumbing over a home with functional, but older, plumbing? So long as the roof looks good and is projected to last, most buyers will feel comfortable enough to buy. Other aspects of the home are likely more important to the buyers and more likely to sway their decision than the roof.
Almost all of the homeowners who participated in the NARI study (which showed the highest return) were reroofing their home because their old roof was worn out. If you’re trying to sell a house with an old roof or a very damaged roof, replacement is a more secure investment. You’ll turn away many buyers with such a roof, and those who are still interested may expect a discount for the cost of roof replacement anyway. Also, it may be legally necessary to replace a roof that is in poor condition.
On the other hand, if you have one small issue with your roof, it may be more cost-effective to have it repaired rather than replaced outright. Neither repairing nor replacing is likely to boost your appraisal value if the roof is otherwise in good condition. Therefore, it is best to keep your costs low. Most repairs cost significantly less than the average reroofing job. Although, to be sure, you can ask a roofing professional to quote you both for repairs and for a roof replacement. Then you can see exactly how much each would cost you and weigh their benefits and costs accordingly.
Adding a new roof doesn’t increase home value in every market. General housing market conditions affect the value of all home renovations. Asking for the advice of your local appraisers and real estate agents is your best bet to understand the market conditions you face. However, there is some regional data that can guide you.
According to Remodeling’s 2019 report, a new roof adds the most value to appraisals in the New England region, at 77 percent return. The study defined New England as Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maine and Rhode Island. A new roof adds the least home value, at 65 percent return on investment, in the East North Central region (the study defines this region as Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana and Wisconsin.) While this is true in general, your specific market may be very different from the regional average. Refer to an experienced real estate agent in your area to get his/her advice about how roofs are performing in your city and neighborhood.
Your choice of shingles may impact the return you receive on your new roof. Consider that the homeowners surveyed in the NARI report spent less than the average homeowner in the Remodeling report, at $7,500 instead of $22,636. Clearly, this is a substantial difference. Those who spent more money may have purchased more expensive shingles and accessories or added in other features, like skylights.
Why is this important? Those homeowners in the Remodeling report spent much more than the national average reroofing cost, which is $7,796 USD. In contrast, the homeowners in the NARI report kept their costs almost exactly at average. Spending less money appears to have earned those homeowners a much higher return.
Why would spending an average price on a roof replacement get homeowners a better return? In general, home renovations need to match your neighborhood. There’s no sense in investing in a luxury home feature in a starter house because your home value just can’t rise very much above your neighbor’s home value. You’re unlikely to get the full value of designer shingles back if your neighbors all have less expensive shingles.
On the other hand, if you’re in an upscale neighborhood, a high-end shingle may be expected. Designer shingles will match the style of the other materials used on the home’s exterior and interior. Buyers will be discouraged by traditional shingles if they can get a home in the same neighborhood with designer shingles.
Keep in mind that a roof replacement is a much more involved endeavor than undertaking a new paint job or even changing bathroom tile. No buyers will want to reroof the home just because they don’t appreciate the shingle color. Instead, they just won’t put in an offer.
As so much depends on your neighborhood and buyer’s expectations, it is wise to get a real estate agent’s perspective on what kind of asphalt shingles buyers in your area expect and how valuable they perceive a new roof to be.
What about non-shingle roofs? Metal roofs are often touted as a good way to boost home value, but research indicates they are not as cost-effective as laminate shingles.
The Remodeling Report for 2019 found that a metal roof, on average, cost homeowners $38,600 and increased home value by 60.9 percent. Compare this to their findings for asphalt roofs, where the average homeowner spent $22,636 and got a return of 68 percent.
Not only is metal roofing, on average, more expensive than asphalt shingles, metal roofs also add a lower percentage of their value to an appraisal. In the end, you’re spending more money on a metal roof, but getting less of your investment back. If you install a metal roof, you’ll pay $38,600 and may get a $23,507 boost to home value. Therefore, you will have paid $15,093 that you may not get back in home value. If you pay $22,603 for an asphalt shingle roof, you may get a $15,392 boost to home value. Therefore, you will have only paid $7,244, which you may not get back in home value. These numbers are only averages. You may get a full return on investment. Even if you don’t, laminate shingles are a less-risky investment than a metal roof.
You should also consider how a homeowner will view a metal roof. Few homes have metal roofs, so they may seem unpredictable to homeowners who have never owned one before. As they are less common, homeowners may have too many questions about metal roofs to feel comfortable purchasing one.
As with other home improvements, if you want to maximize your investment, it is best to stick with familiar products in familiar styles that won’t raise the eyebrows of the typical home buyer.
Perhaps a new roof won’t boost your home value too much, but could it still help you sell your home? There’s no doubt that many real estate agents value a new roof as an effective selling tool. In fact, according to the NARI report, 32 percent of realtors recently used a new roof to finalize a sale. Buyers are attracted to homes with new roofs, as they know it will save them from having to do a replacement or major repairs. That’s great peace of mind.
While buyers may not be willing to pay more for a home with a new roof, they might choose it over a comparable home with a poor roof. Therefore, if your home is still on the market while other homes in your neighborhood are selling, an old roof could be the reason buyers just aren’t interested.
Your roof is also a key factor in the curb appeal of your home, or how the exterior looks. Curb appeal is critical to get buyers interested in your home. Plus, it is your first chance to impress them.
Research from NARI has demonstrated that home renovations that improve curb appeal are among the best investments to increase home value. Buyers develop faster emotional connections with homes that “wow” them right from the driveway. Some buyers may not even walk into a home that has an unappealing exterior.
Your roof makes up to 40 percent of the visual space on the exterior of your home and can have a significant impact on its overall curb appeal. If your taste in roofing colors is unusual, or if someone who previously owned the home chose a less-than-flattering color, choosing new asphalt shingles in a more flattering shade may make all the difference in a potential buyer’s perspective on your home. IKO offers resources to help you choose the right color shingle for your home.
Keep in mind that buyers want a home that was well-maintained and use the home’s exterior appearance to judge how well you took care of the home. Even if it’s not an accurate reflection, buyers will assume that your roof reflects the energy and investment you’ve put into the rest of the home.
In some areas, roofing disclosures are legally mandatory. You can also obtain roofing certifications that may assure your buyers that the roof will perform for a certain period of time. These certifications may constitute a guarantee, but not always. The National Roof Certification and Inspection Association argues that roof inspectors are more specialized than home inspectors and can certify the performance of a roof for your buyers.
Some home buyers must complete a roof certification and may not be able to purchase a home with shingles that are too old or roofs in less-than-ideal conditions. Buyers who plan to use a Federal Housing Administration loan or a Veterans Affairs loan should note that both have roof restrictions. These home buyers may legally have to withdraw their offer if a roof certification can’t confirm that the roof will be in good condition for the next two years or more.
No matter what your area requires you to do, it is always wise to disclose the condition of your roof to the new buyers. If they are surprised with a leaky roof, they may take legal action against you even after they have moved in.
Many homeowners think their home is sold, but then buyers back out at the last minute over concerns about the condition of the roof. What if you don’t want to do these repairs yourself? Or, what if you need to relocate urgently and won’t have the time to get the repairs done? With the guidance of a real estate lawyer, you can negotiate with the buyers to have them handle the repairs themselves.
There are a few options you can bring up to your lawyer. You could reduce your home’s asking price and have buyers agree, in writing, to perform the repairs themselves. Alternatively, your buyers may be put at ease if you have a roofing professional estimate the cost of repairs. Then, you can give them the repair money outright upon closing.
Always rely on an experienced real estate agent and a real estate lawyer to help you make these negotiations legal and binding. Some buyers will take legal action against you over a leaking roof, even if you informed them of the roof’s condition when they purchased the home.
If you have decided to do some kind of home renovation before you sell your home, the return on investment (ROI) of a new roof makes it a good option. A new asphalt shingle roof is more cost-effective than several popular home remodeling projects, including adding an upscale master suite, a backyard patio and a mid-range bathroom.
However, a new roof is not as cost-effective as other home renovations, including minor kitchen remodels, upscale garage door replacements and the addition of a manufactured stone veneer. These renovations have the potential to increase home value by over 80 percent, compared to a new roof’s 68-109 percent, depending on their existing condition and market factors.
If you’ve decided a new roof is a good investment for you, you should spend some time thinking about which shingles will give you the best return. If your goal is to boost your appraisal value or attract more buyers, shy away from choosing the lowest cost shingle. Buyers may not be thrilled about the low-end options, as they may not create the same sense of security. You want the buyers to be sure that they won’t have to replace the roof for at least a decade.
Instead, choose a quality asphalt shingle from a well-known manufacturer, such as IKO’s architectural shingles. One option is IKO Dynasty performance shingles. These laminate shingles offer your buyers assurance in quality, especially if you live in an area where extreme weather conditions are frequent.
High-quality shingles may impress insurance companies as well as buyers. Some insurance companies will offer lower home insurances rates if the home has a new quality roof that offers more protection during extreme weather events. Your buyer may be interested in mentioning this to their insurance company; so make sure you mention the possibility of a lower insurance rate to them. It just might be the factor that convinces them to purchase your home.
You may wonder: Why not invest in the most expensive, designer shingles? Won’t that attract more buyers and boost your appraisal value even more? It could, but only if you’re in a market that expects high-end shingles. Otherwise, designer shingles are unlikely to recoup their costs.
If your neighbors do have top-tier shingles, or your real estate agent tells you that buyers are looking for them, consider IKO’s Crowne Slate™. This premium shingle mimics the look of slate roofs, which are a sought-after luxury feature. Remember that a premium roof may add value, in the right market.
If you live in an area where energy efficiency is a big concern for buyers, installing a cool roof can help you. In fact, in some states, such as California, cool roofs are mandatory. Cool roofs appeal both to environmentally conscious buyers and those who are looking for a home with low utility costs. Choose one of IKO’s Cambridge™ Cool colors Collection Shingles, which can reduce your home’s heating and cooling costs. By doing so, you save buyers money without actually reducing your asking price.
If you’ve consulted with a real estate agent and have decided it’s in your best interests to get a reroof, be sure to consider the types of roofing material on the other homes in your neighborhood to make the most of your investment. If buyers in your area are looking for energy efficiency, or premium shingles, installing those shingles may help you get a higher offer.
Especially if your goal is to boost curb appeal, consult with a professional roofer to choose your asphalt shingle color and style. Tell them you want to make your new roof as appealing as possible to the most buyers possible. You can find a roofing professional to get advice and to perform your new roof installation through our Contractor Locator.
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