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Buyers generally want houses that won’t need significant repairs shortly after purchase. A major problem, such as a damaged and leaking roof, could deter potential buyers, causing your house to stay on the market for a long time—or forcing you to lower the asking price. Replacing the roof before listing your house could help you sell it quickly and recoup most of the repair costs.

What Is the Roof’s Current Condition?
If the roof appears damaged, have it inspected by a professional roofer. The problem could be minor, or it could be much worse than you thought. Knowing the extent of the damage and the cost of repairs can help you decide what to do.

Roofs last different amounts of time depending on the type of materials used. If your roof is at or near the end of its lifespan, that could be a major issue for prospective buyers. Even if the roof isn’t leaking now, it could start to soon. No one wants to move into a house and spend thousands of dollars to replace the roof a few months later. The age of the roof would surely be highlighted in an inspection report, and potential buyers could immediately decide to pass on your house.

Should You Replace the Roof or Sell the House As-Is?
When potential buyers look at your house, they will probably be reluctant to make an offer if it needs major work. A damaged roof could cause buyers who love the rest of the house to think twice. If your roof has major damage, it should be replaced before you sell the house, unless your financial circumstances make that impossible.

If you can’t afford to replace the roof, you can sell your home as-is. If buyers are interested in your house because of other factors, such as its location, they might be willing to make a bid despite the condition of the roof. There is also a good possibility that your house could take months or even a year or more to sell. If you simply want to sell your house quickly so you can move, you can list it as-is and reduce the price to make it a bargain.

Some people might be willing to buy the house even though it needs a new roof, but they might not be able to get a mortgage. Many lenders will refuse to approve a loan for a house that needs major repairs and will require that the work be completed first. The seller is generally responsible for these costs.

Replace the Roof If Necessary and If You Can
A roof that needs to be replaced can make it difficult to sell your home. If your house needs a new roof, take care of that before you list the house, if possible. If you can’t afford to replace the roof, you might be able to sell your house, but you could have to wait and accept an offer that is significantly lower than you would like.