What Every REALTOR® Wants You To Know About Warning Signs
When you are in the market of buying a home, all too often home buyers let emotions rule rather than sound advice about the home you are about to buy. Here are some tips that every buyer should have on their radar when looking at a home.
- All too often sellers think it is a good idea to have an overwhelming scent in the house to make it smell pretty! Unfortunately, what is a good smell to one, is a bad smell to another. The word of advice for sellers, make sure your house is clean – the less smell you have in the house, the better. As a REALTOR®, I would advise anyone and everyone to avoid scents in your home, especially burning scented candles. Artificial scents in the home may be an attempt to mask other scents.
- Buyers should be aware of deferred maintenance, such as burned out light bulbs, leaky faucets, yard that is not groomed. These may be signs that other maintenance was ignored, such as changing furnace filters on a regular basis. Deferred maintenance can cost the home buyer later.
- Cosmetic touch up can be an indication of a larger, ignored problem. A room that has one wall repainted, but not the rest, may be indicative of a problem that needed to be covered up, such as a water leak.
- Foundation cracks may be slight cracks from settling or it may be a sign of a much more serious problem. I have repeated many times in this blog to always, always, always have a home inspection done by a qualified, certified home inspector. Only then can you be reasonably sure that the crack in the foundation is normal or an indication of a much more serious problem.
- Most buyers are aware to look for water damage within a house, such as spots along a wall that may have indicated a water leak at some point in time. But the other thing involving water that buyers should be alert too is that beautiful creek out back. What may be a quaint babbling brook may turn into a torrent of water with the slightest of rain and may encroach your home.
- Several years ago, mold became the issue that every buyer was looking for. Black mold was the kiss of death in trying to sell your home and rightfully so. Black mold is a very serious health risk and buyers need to be aware of mold. However, let me very clear, just because a mold is black does not mean it is Black Mold. Only someone certified in identifying the various types of mold can make that determination and only then by having it tested by a lab. Never the less, any indication of mold indicates an abundance of moisture in an area and needs to be evaluated.
- As indicated in number 6, uncontrolled moisture can lead to several problems and may indicate improper ventilation. A good home inspector will be able to identify this issue and say what the problem most likely is.
- One area that I think buyers and even real estate agents may overlook is the unanswered question on a home disclosure. Most people will skim the disclosure form looking for something to jump out at them, but pay little attention to a question that the seller simply did not answer. To me that is a red flag that warrants extra scrutiny.
- Windows that do not open and close smoothly may be an indication of foundation issues or simply cheap, poorly installed windows. In either case, it can cost the buyer money down the road.
- One area that warrants a closer look and that is any patch work. If you have ever had a plumber come to repair a leak from a pipe in the wall, you will know that they will cut a spot out of the wall, repair the leaky pipe and leave you to repair the hole in the wall. Trying to get someone out to repair one small section of drywall is next to impossible, so often times home owners will try to repair it themselves. Be watchful for repair work on drywall or tiled areas that appear to have small areas that were patched.
If you are thinking of buying or selling, talk to a real estate professional – talk to a REALTOR® – who can give you the information you need to make an informed decision.
As always, if I can help with any of your real estate needs, please feel free to text or call me at 301-712-8808 or email me at RolandLow1@gmail.com.