Real Estate Investment 101: Getting Started

Attending an Open House or Home Showing? Look for These Warning Signs

As you search for a home that you can potentially call your own, you are going to go on a lot of home showings and open houses to see the homes in person. This allows you to quickly evaluate the home and see if it is worth making an offer on. However, it also gives you a chance to look for things that could potentially be wrong with the home and make you quickly move onto the next home. Here are some of those warning signs you should watch out for.

Strong Scents

It's normal for a homeowner to put out a candle or something similar to make their home smell nice for a home showing, but you should be concerned if there is a particularly strong scent throughout the entire home. The homeowner may be attempting to cover something up with air fresheners. For example, there may be a musty smell in the basement because there was water down there recently. While good smells are not always a bad thing, pay more attention when they appear to be hiding something.

Fresh Paint

A common project done by homeowners is to freshen up the place with a fresh coat of paint. While the new paint may be the way of fixing a wall that was scratched, it could also be due to hiding a worse problem. Be suspicious of paint that was just put on a basement wall, since it may be to hide the lines left behind from water in the basement.

Old Appliances

It is worth taking a look at the ages of the appliances in the home to see if they will soon need replacement. You can typically see the ages of the items by looking for manufacturing information on them. It will say what year the appliance was made; that will give you a good idea of how old it is. Be concerned if you see a bunch of appliances that are beyond their recommended lifespan since the next owner could be the one that ends up replacing them all.

Previous Listings

The home may be listed as new to the real estate market, but is it actually new? Ask the real estate agent if the home has ever been previously listed. Some homeowners will take a home off the market if it has been listed for too long since a new listing will bring new eyes to the property that would normally pass it up. Then you can start asking yourself why the home has not sold in the past and if it's a reason for you to pass on it as well.

If you're ready to look for a new home, work with real estate agents to sift through real estate listings and narrow down your options.