Knowing exactly what your home's potential buyers want and need can make it easier to sell your house when you put it on the market. One part of the house that can be a huge problem in a real estate transaction is when the roof is in disrepair. A roof that is in a poor state can make it difficult for a buyer to consider purchasing the house. Before you put your house up for sale, here's what your potential buyers want you to know about your roofing.
They Can't Get Approved for a Mortgage or Homeowner's Insurance
Many mortgage lenders typically won't approve loans for houses that have a bad roof. If the mortgage application does go through, the potential buyer may have a problem finding a homeowner's insurance company willing to give them a policy for a house with a roof that is in bad condition.
The reason for this is because a bad roof has a significant chance of leaking, which can easily cause water damage to the structure of the home. Ceiling joists, fascia boards, and wall framing all become susceptible to a reduction in structural integrity. Deterioration of these vital structures can lead to high costly repairs and reduce the value of the home.
More importantly, water leaks from the roof can create a fire hazard, especially if there is electrical wiring in the attic or the ceilings just below the attic. A mortgage lender won't easily take on the risk of lending money for the purchase of a house that has a fire hazard such as this. Also, water leaks often lead to mold and mildew problems, which can spread throughout the home and become difficult to remove, thus reducing the value and making resale difficult in the future should the buyer no longer be able to afford the mortgage payments.
They Will Need a Roof Certification
Because of these issues that could cause a buyer to be unable to get a mortgage, their lender will likely require a roof certification. A roof certification is given by a roofing inspector after he or she thoroughly inspects the roofing and all of its components. In order to do this, the roofing inspector may use an impulse radar, which reads electromagnetic waves to determine the condition of the materials under the shingles.
A roof certification will certify that the roof is in good condition, but it will also give the expected lifespan of the roof based on the condition of the roof at the time of the inspection. If any repairs are recommended by the roof inspector, the inspector will itemize the materials and labor in a detailed cost to repair the roof report. This report, along with the certification, can help your potential buyers know what to expect in terms of when they may need for roof repairs if they get approved for a mortgage without any repairs being done before closing.
When your potential buyers and their mortgage lenders see the certification and the cost to repair report, they may try to negotiate with you to lower the sale price of the house or ask you to repair the roof as a contingency of the sale of the house. If either were to happen, the potential buyer and/or their mortgage lender may have the right to approve which roofing contractor you choose to make the repairs, depending on the laws of your state.
However, it's important to note that a roofing inspector may not provide a roof certification if he or she cannot certify that the roof is in good condition. Should this happen, it would be a good idea for you to repair the roof before contacting a real estate agent to put it up for sale.