You can certainly do that as just about anything goes in a RE transaction. But I would seriously consider having the roof replaced now if it is in need or close to it. If your home takes awhile to sell, or does not sell at all, then the roof could become an issue just for the safety and integrity of the home. Also, by advertising in your sale that the home needs a new roof you do have the potential for issues with your home insurance carrier if something were to happen down the road (before the sale). It could potentially be viewed as neglect of maintenance and cause you issues there.
As a Professional Real Estate Inspector I will now give you this view of the situation. A roof covering that is deteriorated will set off a lot of inexperienced Inspectors. If you're unlucky to get one of these Inspectors performing the inspection be prepared for a "Chicken Little the sky is falling" mentality and inspection report. These type reports have a tendency to scare the bejeebers out of buyers. You could potentially lose good offers and go through a great deal of stress in the process.
In my opinion it is better all around to have the roof replaced if it is known "that the roof needs to be replaced". I can fully understand the cost end of it and your current conditions there. Find several good, reputable roofers in your area. Speak with them about methods of financing the roof or various grant or aid programs available for these type issues. A good roofer keeps up with these type things as it helps them sell roofing work. You can also try roofing and contracting associations for these type programs. My WEB site has links to many associations and groups that may be able to help. Many of these associations have bulletin boards that you can post this type question on and potentially find answers from around the country.
Good luck on your situation and I certainly hope it works out for you. By the way, I hear Pink Flamingos have come back into style. But don't go overboard on them. Email me if you want to know how I understand that.
Emmanuel J. Scanlan
PS Inspection & Property Services LLC
TREC License # 7593
International Code Council, Residential Combination Inspector #5247015-R5 (Electrical, Mechanical, Plumbing and Building)
Texas Residential Construction Commission, Third Party Warranty Inspector #1593
Texas Residential Construction Commission, Inspector, County Inspection Program
Texas Department Of Insurance, VIP Inspector # 08507061016
Hayman Residential Engineering Services, Field Technician
CMC Energy - Certified Energy Auditor
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