Look Out for Red Flags in a Home Sale

Look Out for Red Flags in a Home Sale

In a fast-paced real estate market, the time from listings to sale can seem to go by in a flash. For agents on the buyer and seller side, the pace might make it harder to really assess the condition of the home until a potential deal-breaker becomes apparent during a professional inspection. It is important to take the time to look carefully at the home from the outset.

Doing the Research

An agent isn’t going to opine on the value of a home without looking at comparable listings. Age, condition and improvements are all elements that impact the value of a house, and they should be taken into account when comparing recent sales of other homes. Taking the time to go deeper than the “first impression” appearance of the home can reveal important clues that should drive the seller’s agent’s recommendation as to a listing price and the buyer’s agent’s recommendation about whether and how much to offer.

Assess Marketability

When a seller’s agent looks over the home, they have to consider the appropriate listing price. Obvious problems like a messy home, worn carpets or a poorly kept garden make a home seem unappealing. But agents know that these are easy fixes. Major problems that cost real money to repair are a different story. These issues need to be spotted in order to know how to list the home – price, descriptors, etc. Even during a seller’s market, the deal can fall through if the buyer discovers something that makes them walk away from the sale. It is better to know that work may be required and price accordingly.

Advise Your Client

Both buyers and sellers need to have information about the home in order to move forward. A seller may be unaware of an issue that will impact the pricing and sale of the home. They should be given the opportunity to decide whether to put the work in themselves or adjust the price. Buyers go into the process with a budget, and they need to understand that the purchase price may be only the beginning of the expense of the new home if significant repairs are needed. In both cases, they are relying on their agent for guidance.

But Where Do I Look?

A real estate agent isn’t a trained home inspector. So, knowing how to look, where to look, and what to look for can be a challenge. In a sense, budget should drive the priorities. Knowing that a roof or foundation issue can be incredibly expensive to remedy, particularly if neglected for a long period of time, these are areas to evaluate. Similarly, the existence or potential for water intrusion, settling and pests should be identified. If an agent makes a regular practice of looking over these sorts of key aspects of the home, it can make an enormous difference for the client.

At Biller & Associates, we recommend that agents educate themselves about key home repair and maintenance issues so that they know what to look for and what questions to ask of the sellers. If you are an agent who is interested in learning more about the red flags in a home, or you would like to retain us to conduct an inspection, contact us for more information.

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