Can I Sell My House With A Leaky Roof?

Yes – you can sell a house with a leaking roof!

Keeping a house with a bad roof is dangerous. Leaks can damage to rest of the house.

The first place to get impacted is the attic quickly followed by the interior ceiling. When water gets to the interior ceiling, water damage can flow to the fans and ceiling mounted lights. That expensive paint job? Kiss it good bye.

Mold and mildew growth are a risk with a long term unaddressed leak. Getting rid of mold is challenging (even for the best contractors!) and expensive. Mold and mildew pose a threat to our health. Mold and mildew exposure causes inflammations, nasal congestion, and asthma. Water spillage may compromise structural integrity, pose a fire hazard, and cause slip and fall accidents.

Procrastinating can lead to worsening of the situation. Once the roof start leaking, you have to take immediate action.

One option is to repair the roof. Another is to sell the house as-is. Learn the pros and cons in this blog!

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Pros & Cons Of Selling a House With a Bad Proof

pros cons selling house with leaky roof
You save time and money by selling a house “as-is” without repairing the roof.

Ask yourself is “should I sell my house with the roof leak” – before making any sales decision. There are pros and cons to selling the house “as is”, repairing before sale, or fixing the roof and keeping the property.

Advantages. Perhaps the biggest advantage to selling without repairing the roof is saving the repairs expense. This is important if you don’t have the money on hand to currently fix the roof because the leak and damage only worsen over time devaluing your asset.

Another reason to sell is if you simply don’t have the time to manage repairs. This important with substantial water and property damage.  A “full rehab” – to be done cost efficiently – takes time and attention. If you’re attention is being pulled in different directions, it could end up costing you big time. Do you live far aware? Managing major renovations is impractical at a distance.

Our company House Heroes LLC buys houses that need lots of work – click here or give us a call (954) 676-1846 for a fair cash offer.

Disadvantages. Houses with a property defects always sells for less. The buyer must put his own time and money in to repairs and the offer will be reduced accordingly. Additionally, houses that need work can potentially take a long time to sell. There is a smaller buyer pool for houses that need repairs – and so find the “right buyer” can sometimes take longer.

Selling the House? Choose the Right Buyer!

If you’ve decided to sell a home with roof in poor condition, not just any buyer will be able to complete the purchase . . .

Buyers relying on a conventional mortgage from a bank cannot buy a leaky roof house. A traditional mortgage typically have “habitability requirements”. Banks and government agencies often decline to lend when the home needs a roof replacement. It is not “deemed” safe.

Step in the “professional cash home buyer.” Since professional cash buyer’s don’t need mortgages (i.e. they have the cash on hand to close themselves) you need to worry about whether the buyer will qualify for a mortgage.

There are many advantages to working with a cash buyer. Cash buyers close fast without any delays. They specialize in buying your property as-is without needing the repair works done.

cash home buyer
Buyers relying on mortgages can’t buy your house with a leaking roof. Real estate investors can.

The added bonus is that all the sales proceeds go to the seller since there are no intermediaries (read realtors) to siphon some of the funds.

How to find a cash home buyer? It isn’t hard. You could google “sell my house fast” and find a few options. Check your mailbox: you could receive a letter or postcard. Another option is to consult with local real estate professionals that may know local real estate investors to buy fixer-upper properties.

However, as with all things, you need to be careful. Not all “cash buyers” are trustworthy. Consider a number of things before selecting a buyer. Vetting cash buyers is essential in ensuring that they are legitimate professionals.

First, never part with any cash up front, anyone who needs an ‘application fee’ is usually a scammer. Researching the company online can also give you an idea about the nature of their dealings. Check their Better Business Bureau rating. You should also avoid people who only talk to you via e-mail and have no intention of meeting in person. Requesting a “bank statement” proof of funds also can help weed out the pretenders.

Make sure to disclose the roof damage to any buyer. States require disclosing house defects, including a leaky roof. As a seller, you need to balance the need to sell with the requirement to disclose known issues. Selling a home to buyers without revealing its defects can result in lawsuits. Dealing with messy court issues is a waste of time and money, so it’s better to be honest from the start. Put major defects it in writing to avoid future conflicts.

Why Roofs Leak

Take the time to understand why the roof is leaking and what can be done to repair the damage before deciding to sell the house. Once we comprehend the cause, we can figure out the time and money required to fix the roof.

Many people forget (or simply don’t pay attention) that roofs are subject to the laws of wear and tear.

At most, a good roof has a lifetime of about 20-30 years. Wear and tear is caused by ever changing temperature fluctuations and weather conditions. Roofs become brittle and exposure to sunlight melts the tar holding shingles in place overtime. It’s possible an entire new roof is required, or on the other hand, the leak may just be an indicator that the repair works are just overdue.

Debris like leaves, twigs and pine needles can trap water on the roof during rainy seasons. Once the water settles on the roof over extended periods, it may begin to seep in slowly through capillary action. To avoid this, cut and/or trim surrounding tree branches that surround the roof. This will go a long way in ensuring that the roof remains debris free.

A cracked chimney is another way that water can find its way through the roof of your house. Check on the mortar joints where the chimney is linked to the roof. At times, even when the mortar joint is firmly in place, corrosion may occur. This is not a preventable action since mortar is composed of the consolidation of water, sand and cement. All these elements are subject to wear and tear. Regular inspection of the roof would be the best course of action.

Repairing a roof can prove to be a daunting task for anyone to take on. Repairs are bound to take up a lot of time to fix up. There’s also the money aspect since repair jobs can be expensive. Hiring a professional to do the roof repairs is advisable. However, since contractors are often prone to giving quotes blown out of proportion, first assess the damage independently before calling several for quotes.

Some of the things you should consider during the analysis are:

Roof Type

The type of roof you choose for your home will influence just how much you spend. A roof can be metal or shingled, flat or sloped, high or low pitch or an assortment of the aforementioned combinations. Roofing costs vary geographically due to different costs of materials and labor.

In terms of expense, asphalt shingles are the cheapest. They cost about $120 per 100 sq. feet. On the other hand, slate shingles range from $800-$1,000 per 100 sq. feet. Tile shingles go for about $300-$500 per 100 sq. feet.

Metal sheets are the most expensive. The materials do not come cheap and you may find yourself needing to part with $1,500 per 100 sq. feet

Repair Permits

Different places have varied permit laws. The roofing expert may need a working permit in order to start repair works on your roof. Houses that reside close to the sea usually need permits that protect homeowners from tropical storms and hurricanes. It is therefore essential to research on the city or town laws of your residence when calling in the professionals to undertake the repair job.

Scope of Damage

A roof with extensive damages would not cost the same as a roof with minimal damage. Normally, roofing contractors determine their rates per square foot. Another important thing to consider is type of roof. As an example, shingles are usually sold by the square. Therefore, even if you have minimal roof damage, say, less than a couple of feet, you will need to part with more money. Quick tip: when materials for roof repairs get very expensive – make sure to tell the roofer to leave remaining materials with you. This can greatly reduce costs of future repairs.

Steps to Repair a Leaky Roof

To repair a flat roof, you can easily patch it up using a primer and patching system. To do this, you need to have a brush, scissors, flat-roof roller, and a primer and matching system. Ensure that the conditions you are operating in are dry before you get started.

To repair asphalt shingles, the materials necessary are a prybar, hammer, roofing nails, roofing adhesive and asphalt shingle. First lift the damaged shingle from the roof, pull out all the nails and remove the damaged shingle. The prybar will come in handy in lifting the tab above the damaged region. The nails are necessary in fastening the shingle once installation is complete while the adhesive helps keep everything in place.

prevention better than cure
We’d all rather not deal with a bad roof. Take steps to prevent it.

During roofing, if flashing was shoddily done or failed, leaks are likely to occur. To fix up leaks in flashing, you need a screwdriver, lead sealant, sealant dispenser, flashing clips and a dusting brush. To make the repair possible, you need to remove any debris, old sealant or mortar from the joint. The screwdriver end should be used to push the flashing clips into the joint in order to hold lead in place. For best results, carefully smear lead sealant along the joint.


Of course, it is ideal to avoid a leaking roof in the first place.

The trick to prevent leaks is regular maintenance. A couple of things need to be considered in order to ensure that the roof is always firmly in place.

Gutters should always be debris free and tightly fastened. Attics need to be well maintained by checking on condensation levels, air conditioning, ventilation system, fans and possible infestations that may lead to leakage and harbor the growth of mold.

Regular assessment of chimneys, skylights, plumbing vents and flashings should also be considered. Even the slightest of drips should not be taken at face value. Spotting symptoms early can save on time and money by stopping a small problem from becoming a big one.


As the adage goes, a stitch in time saves nine. Fixing up the roof as soon as you notice a leak can go a long way in ensuring that repair work is done quickly.  To spot a leak, regular maintenance and checks are necessary.

We Buy Houses!
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3 responses to “Can I Sell My House With A Leaky Roof?

  1. The cost of the house becomes more expensive if the roof is new or in good condition. Even though you can sell your house with a leaky roof, it is best if you invest in a good roof. Thank you for sharing this helpful blog.

  2. This is indeed a great blog! Thanks for posting this, yeah your right it is much better to sell your house with good condition to avoid major problems once you passed it to the new owner. I enjoyed reading your blog till the end, I’m looking forward to your next post!

    1. Thank you Matt! Glad you enjoyed it. Ideally, each of us could pay to repair our house, take the time to sell it. Everyone isn’t always in the position or looking to make repairs or wait around for the process of selling. Of course, it all depends on our personal situations, budgets, and goals.

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