How to Negotiate a New Roof When Buying a Home

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How to Negotiate a New Roof When Buying a Home

How to Negotiate a New Roof When Buying a Home

For most people, buying a home represents the largest single investment they will make. Obviously, they want the best value their budget can buy, but there are times when that perfect home has a major, big-ticket flaw like a leaky roof. Do you walk away or do you try to negotiate a new roof with the seller?

You can negotiate a new roof and you can do it in a way that meets the objectives of both the buyer and the seller.

Suggested Buyer Strategies for Negotiations

If you have a talented, experienced real estate agent working for you, he or she should already be suggesting these options. 

The reason you know the roof needs repair or replacement might be because of the property inspection report generated as part of the contingencies in the purchase contract. With that detailed Home Inspection Report, you can then find a licensed, reputable roofing company like Roofstar Arizona to inspect the roof and give you an honest assessment of the roof’s condition and estimate for repair.

Why Should I Pay For a Roof Inspection When I Can Get a “Free Estimate”

“Free Estimates” are not free for contractors. There are costs for driving, inspecting, and creating a report or estimate. Thus, contractors “tweak” that “free estimate” to their advantage to sell the work and recover those costs. Some details may be left out in order to enhance the contractor’s chance of getting work.

When buying a home you need honest, accurate information to negotiate your purchase. Roofstar’s nominal fee for Roof Inspections allows us to give you the whole story of your roof’s condition and what you can expect in the future. You have paid for our time so we give you a thorough report just like your Home Inspector. Home Inspections only provide a visual overview of the roof. Roof Inspections remove tiles to view the roof’s underlayment and flashing construction, parts that provide the real waterproofing seal for your home.

Getting The Roofing Work Done

A bad roof can have serious consequences for both buyer and seller. 

  • Based on the age of the house, lenders may ask for a roof certification.  Bankers want to protect their interest in the home and will withhold the mortgage on a house that has a damaged roof.
  • The age of the roof, whether it is sound or not, is also important to insurance companies and they may not bind a policy on a home if they believe it is damaged or will need replacement within a few years. As a general rule, insurance companies will not issue a policy on a roof constructed of standard asphalt shingles that are 15 years old, 20 years for architectural shingles, or 30 years for tile or metal. No insurance policy means no mortgage.

So both buyer and seller are set up to lose unless an agreement is made to repair the roof. 

Here are a few common solutions:

  • Split the Repair Cost. The old/damaged roof issue is not going to go away once it is identified. That means the seller is going to have to deal with it whether it is with you or the next interested buyer. Consequently, he or she will be motivated to get it resolved so the house can sell. A common solution is to split the cost of repairs. This typically takes the shape of the seller offering credit on the sales price. 
  • Increase Financing on an Under-Appraised Property. If it is the seller’s position that the original sale price was already reduced because they knew there was a roof issue, and if the sale price is less than the lender’s appraisal and the amount you are approved for, then it is fair for the buyer to pick up the cost and cover it by increasing the amount financed. 
  • What NOT to do. Typically, time is of the essence with roof repairs. Unless your lender and insurance have no objection, the repair/replacement needs to be made before the closing of escrow. Under no circumstances agree to the seller handling the project. You do not want a cheap Saturday night special repair job by a less than qualified contractor. You can mutually agree on a contractor or use the contractor of your choice.

Get The Truth About Your Roof

Buying a house is stressful enough. Adding the need for a new roof and the unexpected cost doesn’t help. What can help is using a professional, licensed roofing contractor like Roofstar Arizona to provide you with a thorough inspection and a detailed estimate of costs. Let us help you resolve the roofing issue by providing high-quality roofing that will last for decades.