Not all homes will include red flags as part of their curb appeal. Sometimes you need to read between the lines of a real estate listing to find warning signs that your dream home listing is actually a nightmare.
The Price Seems Too Good to Be True
If a home is noticeably lower than the comp set, there’s probably a reason. Even if a seller is in a hurry to sell, a low price often indicates something wrong with the house. You get what you pay for, and a home price much lower than the average sales price for a neighborhood means that you may not be getting much for your money.
Your Realtor® is Also the Seller’s Agent
The job of a buyer’s agent is to find the best home at the best price for their client. A seller’s agent, or listing agent, is tasked with quickly selling the house at the highest price.
You can see why these are competing goals. If this is the case, pick different homes or a different agent, or ask a few more questions of your agent to ensure they have your interests at heart.
There Are a Lot of Other Homes for Sale on the Block
If a lot of families are leaving the area, there could be a good reason. Maybe the city council recently voted to place a major highway or a “not in my backyard” facility near the neighborhood. Or, there could have been some issues with the local environment.
Few Listing Photos
A home’s online listing is like a dating profile – the more photos and information, the better. If there aren’t many photos or the pictures don’t show the entire home and the property, swipe left. For example, maybe there are visible structural damages to the house, and carefully curated images hide them.
Or, maybe the home is near a major interstate or other noisy location. Few photos typically mean the worst, as sellers try to present the house in the best light when listing online.
The House is Obviously a “Flip”
Renovating houses quickly for resale, or “flipping” homes, has grown in popularity, due partly to HGTV showing how simple it looks to make a considerable profit in the business. However, not all flips are the same – some may simply have had a facelift with prettier paint and cabinetry, a large master bath, or granite countertops. This facelift may not address any underlying issues with the home, including structural ones or the presence of mold.
When you find a house that seems like a flip, ask questions and have your real estate agent ask who did the renovations and their qualifications. Don’t forget to have a thorough home inspection, too.
Smart home-buying means looking for indications that a house isn’t as great as it seems. A great buyer’s agent can help you avoid pitfalls in the home buying process and uncover possible red flags. VSells & Associates is a professional real estate team with a deep knowledge of the Baltimore real estate market. Contact us today to get started on your home buying process!