Getting Your Home Repaired

Buyer Or Seller? Settling The Battle Over A Bad Roof

Purchasing a new home can be crazy –  searching for the perfect home, worrying about your offer being accepted, and stressing over your funding options. Let's not even talk about moving day, especially if you have 3 children and a dog. What if the home you just entered into a contract with apparently needs a new roof? The last thing you want to add to your list of worries is haggling over who's responsible for paying for the new roof – the buyer or the seller.

Should the seller pay for all, half, or none of the cost for a new roof? It depends on a few things.

Is It A Buyer's Or Seller's Market Right Now?

A buyer's market is inundated with homes for sale, meaning sellers must compete with other sellers for your business. That said, a seller who is motivated should be willing to be flexible, even if it means paying for a new roof. Most people agree the seller is responsible anyway for the condition of a home.

On the other hand, a seller's market is flooded with home buyers with very little homes for sale. In this scenario, you must be willing to pay top dollar, and quickly, if you want to win in a bidding war. This means you are going to end up paying for a new roof after closing.

What Kind Of Offer Was Accepted?

The seller's satisfaction with your offer says a lot about the final solution to the damaged roof. Did the seller accept a very low offer, or did they stick with their original asking price? If he went on the low side, he's probably not willing to pay for a new roof, nor half a roof for that matter.

If he's getting top dollar for the home, there is some room for negotiation. After all, if you, the buyer, are paying a high price for the home, you naturally want that home to be in good condition. This is where you can ask the seller to pay for all or half of the cost.

How Much Does The Seller Owe On The Home?

Ultimately, will the seller have enough money left over after the sale to give you a credit? If the seller is not underwater on his loan and will actually profit from the sale, he can offer you a credit for the amount a new roof would cost. This way, you will have the money after closing to hire your own contractor to put in a new roof. The seller isn't coming up with any money out of his pocket. Both sides win.