We recently had someone come to us and ask if we had any advice for them. They were purchasing a home and the seller was planning to put a new roof on before it sold. “Is there anything I need to know?” they said.

There is.

And there are plenty of other people in that situation. Here’s what realtors, buyers, and sellers need to know about putting a roof on a house that’s being sold.

Check your roofer

There are almost 5,000 roofing contractors in the state of Oklahoma.

You need to make sure you’re getting a good one, whether you’re the buyer or the seller of the home. Check that they’re registered with the state construction board. Look up their name online and see whether the reviews are good (though you should take them with a grain of salt, as people are more likely to leave negative reviews than positive).

Your roofer should have a good reputation and all their permits in order.

Keep documentation

A lot of people don’t think about documentation.

If you’re the buyer, have the realtor make sure to pick up the paperwork from the roofing job. All the receipts, invoices and other miscellaneous things that are part of a job should be in there. You need it for your records just in case there’s a manufacturer warranty issue.

When a warranty claim goes in, a manufacturer wants to know where, when and how their product was installed. You need documentation to make sure of that. They can be copies—they don’t have to be originals—but you do need to keep them. Work with your realtor and lawyer to make sure it’s correct.

In addition, a warranty claim has to be filed in the buyer’s name, not the seller’s. When the roofing job happens it has to be warrantied under the buyer’s name, not the seller’s. Usually a warranty can only be transferred once. That means if you transfer from the seller to the buyer, the buyer can’t turn around and transfer the warranty if they sell the house within that period. But they can if it’s in their name. It’s a big selling point for a house.

Some roofing companies don’t register the warranty, and they also may not register it in the right name. Check up on it and make sure it’s done correctly.

Doing the job right

Is there proper ventilation?

If not, the manufacturer who gets a warranty claim will claim the installation was wrong and voided the warranty. You can pay to have additional ventilation installed on the roof after you’re in the house. It’s worth it when you’re talking about something as expensive as a roof. It also helps energy bills and makes heating and air more efficient, cutting down on wear and tear.

Make sure whoever puts that roof on will warranty their work. Will they take care of it or will it have to be transferred to a new company? Know who it is so you can file a claim.

Sometimes a seller will help a buyer out with some of the options on a house and make sure the job is done right, or there’s more ventilation put on. Other times they might not.

Sellers want to get out and they might not want to put in a lot out of pocket if they don’t have to. The market right now is a seller’s market. Buyers might not have as much of a choice. It depends on the seller.

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