Print This List Of Red Flags Before You Look At Houses


    When you walk through an open house or you’re previewing a real estate listing with an agent, sometimes what you don’t see is more important than what you do.

    Here are some things that prospective homebuyers should watch out for 😛 TAGEND

    1. There is mood music playing.

    When walking into a staged home, you will often ascertain a lifestyle illustrated: wine glass set on the bistro table for the purposes of the bougainvillea trellis with the Cuban rhythms of Buena Vista Social Club playing in the background.

    It can be seductive to envisage yourself in that scene — that’s the phase — but stop swaying to the thump long enough to ask the agent to turn the music off. Why? Music is frequently used to mask traffic noise, and there is no easy fixing for the music of trucks rolling by at 2 a.m.

    Simply planting trees or thick bushes won’t be enough. Some people flower bamboo because the swishing voices it stimulates can help disguise the noise. Others supplant age-old windows with new ones that block voice better, which works fine until you open them. But pretty much nothing short of a solid, 8-foot masonry wall will make much of a difference.

    An entire industry has evolved around trying to quiet traffic noise. It can be diminished — at a cost — but it is unlikely to ever be fully eradicated. So before buying a home on a noisy street or near a highway, it’s best be seen whether that’s something you can tolerate. can help home hunters check out just how noisy a property is. Put in an address, and the website spits out a rating based on roadways, air traffic and other factors.

    You should also know that traffic noise generally devalues a property and makes it harder to sell. But if the index price reflects that — entailing you can buy it for less than comparable homes in the area — it still might work for you. Just remember that when you go to sell the members of this house down the road, you will likely be dusting off those Buena Vista Social Club CDs.

    2. There is a love seat, but not a sofa.

    There are many frequently used staging techniques that make a small chamber show larger. The simplest one is to supplant the sofa for three with a love seat for two. It may appear the same to its implementation of chamber intend and style, but you will absolutely notice certain differences when you try to move in your couch.

    Ask for room measurements, and know the size of your furniture. You may even want to come back for a second look armed with a tape measure.

    Staging a home for sale has increasingly become part of the marketing bundle. According to the National Association of Realtors, 38 percent of sellers’ agents said they stage every home before listing it. More than half reported that staged homes fetched sale prices “thats been” between 1 and 25 percentage higher, so it’s understandable why a dealer said he wished to stage a home. But customers need to pay attention and not be misled by the tricks of the trade.

    3. Room fresheners or diffusers are in full use.

    joegolby via Getty Images

    A room freshener is a mask of another kind, and prospective customers need to figure out what it is attempting to cover up. Top competitors are pet odors, cigarette or cigar aromas, or a septic issue. The first two will eventually go away, but that last could be a costly problem.

    Dig deeper and find out what you aren’t reeking behind the floral mask.

    4. Every light in the house is on at midday.

    Natural light depends on a lot of things, including the time of year, the time of day, and how the house sits on the lot. South-facing homes tend to get the most light, but that isn’t going to matter if the porch roof overhangs or there’s a mound, mountain or big oak tree between the house and the sun.

    Because many purchasers crave bright, open, airy homes, real estate agents generally run around becoming on illuminations before a potential buyer walkings in. It’s perfectly fine to tell the agent to turn them all off.

    Dark houses can be improved to varying degrees with skylights, trimming back trees and installing larger windows. Mountains, however, can’t be moved. Assess how much natural lighting there is and whether it’s enough for you. Learn if there are ways to increase it. But start by telling the agent to turn the illuminations off.

    5. The smell of fresh paint.

    Many marketers slap on a coating of fresh paint before putting their home on the market. Nothing incorrect with that.

    But as a buyer, it behooves you to ask specifically if the touchup is meant to mask mildew and water damage. Often, corners and floorboards near sea sources — like the rain — get wet.

    While a paint occupation may cover up the area and make it less unsightly, it won’t repair any water damage or avoid the problem from getting worse when you are the home’s owner.

    6. Hedges surround the property.

    Chris Stein via Getty Images

    Hedges are nature’s Band-Aids, inasmuch as they cover up boo-boos.

    Hedges screen things from panorama. When they’re high and in front of a window, they were planted for privacy and maybe also to make a crook’s undertaking harder. When they line the side yards, these objectives may be to block out the neighbor’s dumpy backyard, which is being used for automobile repairs. They grow fast and thick and invariably block something that the marketer craved blocked.

    Find out what that something is.

    7. The agents use a lot of Realtor-speak.

    An agent’s undertaking is to present a listed house in the best way possible, and thus a real estate speech was born.

    When a listing describes the living room as “cozy, ” you can expect it to be small. If the kitchen is “newish, ” it isn’t brand-new. “Peek-a-boo views” may be what you can see if you stand on the roof. And “room for a pool” are not the same thing as “the dealers got the permit and did the geological examines and everything is honky-dory for your pond guy’s bulldozer to start Monday.”