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How To Negotiate A New Roof When Buying A Home

Fixing a roof

The moment that you notice something is out of place regarding a roof when you are buying a new home, you should think about negotiating with the seller to fix it. Now, as a buyer, you will want to do your homework and understand what might show up on the roof inspection report. Getting a roofing inspection is key so you avoid paying for the roof.

Once that roofing inspection is complete you have information in hand to handle a roof replacement with the seller. Chances are that you will want a new roof and not just some repairs or patchwork. How to negotiate a new roof when buying a home? Get an independent roofing inspection, consult with your real estate agent/home inspector, and offer a 50/50 split of the costs. There are other details involving a new roof negotiation so let’s take a look below.

What Do I Need To Know

Buying a house can be very exciting. You have preconceived notions about what you want and how you want it. Also, you have created a budget and know that getting a new roof is very important to you and your home purchasing. Getting to know the condition of the roof before making an offer might be a good idea. You can also request a roof inspection to support and notions of repairs or new roof needs. Luckily, there are some great ways determine if a roof has damage that needs repairing or replacing:

  • Check the records with the local municipality. A permit must have been issued the last time a roof was installed on this home. You will know quickly if a roof is 10 or 15 years old or even older.
  • If there are gutters and downspouts attached to the roof, you can check for shingle pieces in the gutters or bottoms of the downspouts. Overtime, asphalt shingles will degrade and break down and as it rains these particles can get washed into the gutters.
  • Check the flashings on the roof. Flashings are meant to seal the seams of your roof so you don’t get leaks. Tar or cement flashings should be replaced with metal flashings or longer durability.
  • Look for any discoloration or staining on the ceilings of the home. Pay close attention for water damage during your walk-through of the home.
  • Check the roof from the exterior for moss, warped shingles, shingles that are missing, and any other obvious signs of roof damage.
  • If none of this makes sense and you still aren’t sure what you need to know, call your local home inspection team and have them come out to conduct a roof inspection on your behalf. Messing up on roof issues can cost you a lot of money after you make the home purchase. Do your homework.
Negotiating with the realtor for the house.

How Can I Negotiate

A negotiation can become a very tricky ordeal. As such, below are some recommendations, but the most important aspect will be hiring/consulting with a highly rated real estate agent and home inspector.

As a home buyer, you will typically accept certain items that show up on the inspection report. Mostly because you want to purchase the home and don’t want to miss out. However, it is a great idea to go into any home buying with a set of terms. Although, they are not a must for a successful purchase.

When a roofing company begins to get involved with the process, you will need to agree with the seller on how and when the roofing company is paid. Part of this agreement involves the percentage of how much the seller pays vs how much the buyer pays. The goal is to get the seller to agree to a 100% purchase of a new roof, however, this typically is not in the seller’s best interest.

Let’s take a look at what it looks like to negotiate a new roof when buying a home might look like:

  • As stated above, how and when does the roofer get paid. In some cases, the company will wait until closing to get paid. This simplifies and eases both the buyer’s and seller’s minds as no money exchanges hands too soon.
  • Consider how much the buyer or seller will pay for the new roof. Most buyers would expect at least a 50/50 split, if not more. In some cases, the seller is desperate for the sale and would offer a reduced asking price for exchange of new roof installation. Test your negotiating skills on this one.
  • If you are able to agree on a new roof replacement before closing occurs, make sure that you get to choose the roofing company, type of roof, and the roofing materials that you want. This guarantees that you get a quality job by the roofing company who replaced the roof.
  • Get an independent roof inspection by your chosen home inspection team. This allows you to have a comparison of estimates between your roof inspection and the sellers roof inspection. Also, have your seller contact their insurance company. They might have a new roof option in their policy.

How To Protect Yourself

The two best ways to ensure that you protect yourself as the home buyer is to work with a reputable real estate agent and home inspector in your area. However, you can also get a warranty for a new roof from the roofing company that installs it. In some cases, the new roof warranties are non-transferable.

You might not be able to get a warranty from the roofing company unless you are the one making the purchase. In this case, you can have the cost of a new roof removed from the home value, essentially getting the cash from the seller to now handle the new roof purchase on your own.

Getting all of your negotiations and transactions put in writing by your real estate agent is a great idea. As you are negotiating with the seller for a new roof or a reduced price so that you can afford the new roof, it is always best to get all agreed-upon transactions in writing. This includes any future warranties.

Other Recommended Maintenance

Now that you have learned how to negotiate a new roof when buying a home, you can cross-reference what you have learned with your roofing inspection checklist. You should study your checklist and understand all of the details regarding the checklist. This way, while you negotiate a new roof, you have substance to support your claims.

Next, if you have chosen to install architectural shingles, you should get to know how long they last. Even if you have successfully negotiated a new roof during your home purchase, you could end up installing another new roof within 10 to 20 years of living there. Homeowners are never free and clear of home upgrades and repairs. Keep that in mind as you enjoy your newest roof, so that you can plan ahead for future expenses.

Lastly, before you decide on a metal roof, get to know the pros and cons of this installation choice. For example, do metal roofs attract lighting? Before deciding on a metal roof installation, this is great information to know, especially if you live in a state that experiences a high lighting count.

Roof inspector who is inspecting a roof.

When Do I Call A Professional

Calling on the right local home inspection team to conduct a personalized roof inspection is vital to the success of negotiating for a new roof. They can determine what the damages are and how extensive the roof repairs might be.

In addition, the local home inspection team can recommend a few reputable licensed roofing contractors. This way you can collect a few quotes on what it would cost to get a new roof. Having these numbers allows you to confidently negotiate a new roof with the seller.


Anytime that you are looking to buy a home, the home inspection is the biggest component for the buyer and seller to move forward with the sale. Roofing projects are one of the larger items when it comes to buying a home. Simply because they can cost so much to repair or replace.

As a buyer, you want to ensure that as many things in the home that you are buying are new. Having a home inspection done in addition to the one that the seller might get is always a good idea. This allows you to compare notes and negotiate new terms, such as a new roof. Call Waypoint Property Inspection to inspect your home in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Lakeland, Orlando, Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, and surrounding areas.