An open house is your first opportunity to view a home you are considering buying. The seller will take measures to ensure the home is presented in the best light, but sometimes, the efforts could be an attempt to disguise problems with the home. Fortunately, you can unmask some of those issues by knowing the red flags you should look for during the tour.
Although the seller took steps to make his or her home presentable to potential home buyers, there are some signs that are difficult to hide. Poor maintenance of the home and yard is still noticeable, but you have to know what to look for. The lack of maintenance could point to the seller's failure to properly care for the home, which could mean serious problems for the next owner.
Spotting the signs takes attention to the small details. For instance, faded paint or gaps between the windows and the walls could point to poor maintenance. If possible, you can even take a peek at the filter to see if it has been changed recently.
The aroma from freshly baked cookies or potpourri that greets you at the door of some homes for sale might not be the innocent selling ploy you think it is. The seller could be using those scents to attempt to hide another odor that is not as fragrant as the potpourri.
Your nose will likely pick up on funky odors that could indicate problems, such as mildew and mold. Even though the seller might be laying it on thick with the overpowering fragrant scents, you can still rely on your nose to help you determine if there is anything being hidden. Check out the basement or closets in the home. If there is a smelly problem in the home, they are more difficult to hide in those spaces.
Cordoned Off Areas
During the open house, you and other potential buyers should have access to every area of the home. After all, buying a home is a major investment and you have the right to fully assess whether or not a home is right for you. However, there are some sellers who choose not to show the entire home to sellers and actually cordon off some areas of the home.
Despite what the seller says about the area, if you cannot see it, there is an issue. An issue could mean a costly repair for you down the road.
Before touring a home, talk to a realtor about other red flags you should look for.