Can you sell a house without a home inspection?

The short answer is, YES.

But, you can’t sell to your typical buyer.

In this article we will dig into the options you have for selling a home WITHOUT AN INSPECTION (you have 2 Options actually).

To explain this, I will walk you through examples.

As usual, here are the characters you’ll need to know for this article

  • Investor Isabelle – she’s the mom & pop homebuyer just like
  • Betty Buyer – she’s a regular buyer moving into the neighborhood with her family of 4
  • Wall Street Walter – he’s the national homebuyer who buys 10,000+ homes a year

Okay, let’s dig in!

If you searched for this article, this might sound familiar:

We know what you’re thinking, I’ll never be able to sell my home because of the water spot on the roof in the master bedroom from the roof leak during the last hurricane.

However, you’ve decided it’s time. Maybe it’s the right decision to downsize – this home is way too much work and you just want a smaller one but you’re afraid that if someone comes out to do a home inspection you won’t be able to sell. 

Enter Option #1 – Investor Isabelle (mom & pop homebuyer), she’s able to purchase your home, water marks and all without doing a full home inspection that would be required with any other “traditional” buyer.

This short article should equip you with enough information to decide:

What type of buyer should you be selling to? – When selling a home to anyone other than a buyer like Investor Isabelle you’ll be forced into a full home inspection or at a minimum a 4-point inspection. 

In addition, we’ll cover why that could impose certain legal disclosure requirements upon you, the seller, and may make all the difference in you getting the most possible for the property.

Are home inspections required?

Well, that all depends on your buyer. A home inspection is NOT required when selling to Investor Isabelle. However if selling to a buyer like Betty Buyer or Wall Street Walter, you will be required to allow for a home inspection. 

You might be wondering..  

If there’s no law that says an inspection must take place, why is there a difference between buyers??

Well, the difference is Investor Isabelle will be using her expert opinion and will not request for a full home inspection because she has done this many times. Ok, but Wall Street Walter has purchased 2,000 homes this month so why does he need a home inspection. Well that’s exactly why, he’s buying so many homes and he’s only 1 person he relies on a qualified home inspector prior to making a purchase. And Betty Buyer, well she is using bank financing so the bank will require her to do a home inspection or they will not approve her loan.

There are also a few specific situations where you, the seller, would not want to do a home inspection if you wanted to get the most possible for the home.

  1. Some states impose a disclosure requirement on the Seller that if any home inspection has taken place in the last 6 months, the Seller MUST disclose the findings from that inspection to the Buyer.
  2. You, as the seller, know a full home inspection will uncover a major issue that would change the mind of the buyer. AND you know that you’re obligated to share those findings with any future buyers. 

However, if you decided to sell to Investor Isabelle and she found a roof leak you might not be obligated to disclose that to the next buyer who is like investor Isabelle because those findings were not made by a “qualified home inspector.”

Can you sell a house without a final inspection?

Yes, you can sell a house without a final inspection but it depends on WHO you’re selling to. Wall Street Walter and Betty Buyer will both do an initial home inspection by a licensed home inspector in addition to the final inspection the day before closing to ensure no material changes have occurred to the home.

How do you market a home that needs repairs?

You first will need to find a buyer who is willing and able to purchase the home in its “as is” condition. Both Investor Isabelle and Wall Street Walter are able, but Betty Buyer is a maybe and that will depend on whether you (the seller) make the required repairs that are found during the home inspection.

There might be an exception to Betty Buyer where she included an as is home inspection contingency or an as is with inspection and right to terminate clause. Basically, both additional terms from Betty’s purchase offer provide you and Betty the right BUT not the obligation to proceed with the sale based on the finding from the home inspection. With Investor Isabelle, after her walk through of the property there and expiration of the inspection period Isabelle is obligated to continue the purchase no matter what a home inspection might find. 

Can you sell a house without a Certificate of Occupancy?

This is a tricky one ! The answer is YES, but 99% chance the only buyer who’d be able to complete the purchase would be Investor Isabelle. Walter and Betty would both back out because of the risk and local expertise required to complete the sale.

To illustrate why we’ll share a recent example… Home Purchase #572: 7270 Ohio

  • Certain counties in Ohio require a Point of Sale Inspection (very similar to a certificate of occupancy just Ohio likely to call it POS inspection; Florida calls it Certificate of Occupancy)
  • The seller, Adam, reached out to us to sell his mothers home that needed repairs, Adam was the Power of Attorney (“POA”) for his mother because she is an elderly woman and certainly could not care for the home any longer and Adam has his own home and has no need for the headache of two homes
  • We made Adam an offer which he accepted as the POA, we started the Title research to be able to close on the property and in this county there is a requirement for a point of sale inspection before the owner is able to sell the home.
  • An inspector from the city went to the property and failed the property because of 13 different issues (this is where Betty and Walter are politely calling you and canceling the transaction).
  • Instead, we, like Investor Isabelle, decided to request more information on what exactly the 13 reasons were and after our research determined that we would take on those issues.
  • This failed point of sale inspection is a “cloud on title” – a cloud on title is essentially a risk that may impose fines, violations, and if not remedied may result in the county condemning the home – that’s a risk Betty and Walter are just not willing to take

In summary, we’ll take the risk. We closed on the property because we’re local experts who can navigate these possible issues and mitigate them immediately.

Is it worth fixing up a house before selling?

It depends, to get the real answer check out our other resource on determining exactly how much you lose selling a house as is. As mentioned before, if you allow a home inspection by a qualified home inspector you may be obligated to disclose the finding from that inspection to all future purchasers, which might require you to fix the issues from the inspection.

What should you be concerned about when it comes to a home inspection?

  1. What disclosure obligations might be triggered from a home inspection: Depending on the State you may be required to disclose the findings from a home inspection. If you’re using a real estate agent to help sell the property, your agent might be obligated to disclose the home inspection to all future purchasers EVEN IF you are not under any legal obligation to provide such disclosure. Depending on your state, your liability for failure to disclose an known, material issue could last forever.
  1. What Do Home inspectors look for: They usually will rate on a scale of 1-10 the major parts of the home, such as: roof, plumbing, electrical, and foundation. The general rating has nothing to do with cosmetic appeal and everything to do with the functionality; “remaining useful life”; and whether it is up to recent building codes.
  1. Who Pays for the cost of a home inspection?: 9 times out of 10 the Buyer will pay for the cost of the home inspection and will choose their own home inspector. The cost of a home inspection ranges depending on the depth of the inspection but generally will range between $300-600.
  1. What are home inspectors not allowed to do?: This will depend on your State and county restrictions but generally a home inspector is not allowed to damage the home during the inspection, even if that damage might be required to fully determine a part of the inspection. Additionally, the Buyer may be responsible shall the inspector cause damage to the home during the inspection.

Are sellers disclosures required?

Not for Isabelle. But if you sell to Walter or Betty there’s a good chance they will be required. “Seller disclosures” means you as the Seller must disclose certain information about the property to the best of your knowledge from your time living in the property. Any sale with a licensed real estate agent involved in the transaction (even if the agent is not your agent) will likely trigger a disclosure requirement upon the Seller.

Check out this resource for specific state by state disclosure requirements. But, in most states that would include things like: the last time the roof was replaced, whether the plumbing is pvc or copper, whether there is septic or sewer and if septic the last date it was drained, etc.

As a side note, some of you might be wondering…

Q: how long could you be held liable after selling a house?

A: This would depend on your state. But in Florida, if during the sale a qualified home inspection was completed and not disclosed to future purchasers it is possible that the Seller’s liability is never terminated – even after subsequent sales !

2 Options to Avoid a Home Inspection

Option 1 – Get The Buyer To Waive The Inspection

The buyer agrees to purchase your home without stepping foot in the property. Yes, this is possible but it will come at a hefty discount – we must protect against a worst case scenario. It’s usually about 30% less than what our offer would be if we completed a walk through of the property.

Option 2- Agree To No-Inspection, Settle on Just a Walk-Through

Like Investor Isabelle, we do not do a formal home inspection with a qualified home inspector. Instead, we do a walk-through of the property with our local contractors and determine our renovation costs within 24 hours of the walk through. We also try to complete a walk-through within 48 hours of signing a contract. No need to wait around for Wall Street Walter to review the 500 other homes before getting to yours.

Traditional Option 3 – Sell to a bank backed buyer who will require an inspection

Sell to Betty or Wall Street Walter and plan for a home inspection. Usually, they will schedule the home inspection after 10-14 days. This means you’re in limbo waiting around for those first 2 weeks. Determine whether your state may impose any obligations on you once the home inspection is completed. If the inspection comes back with issues you were not aware of, be prepared to make the repairs or Betty and Walter might cancel the purchase.


So, if you know for a fact your home will pass a home inspection and there are no defects to your home that you might be legally obligated to disclose to all future possible purchasers – Go for it ! Sell to anyone an Investor, Bank Backed Buyer, or Wall Street Corporate Buyer – whoever has the best price and is trustworthy !

But, if you’re not sure about whether your home will pass an inspection or afraid you’ll be required to disclose certain defects in the home to all future buyers it might be a better ideal to sell to a mom and pop home buying company like us – we’ll perform our own walk through (no licensed home inspectors) and confirm the as is price with no need to make repairs no matter what we find.

We’ve purchased hundreds of homes just like yours, from other homeowners just like you who were scared that no one would buy their home because of the extensive renovations or material issues with the property.

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