Home buying is an emotionally uplifting process, and the last thing a buyer would want is regrets after buying a house. However, buyer’s remorse is very common because they overlook the red flags during their home buying journey.
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Whether it’s the property location, the internal structure, or the contract, the buyer and the real estate agent must be vigilant enough to spot the red flags before signing a deal. Home experts reveal these red flags for homebuyers to pay attention to while searching for a property.
Frequent price drops
Sometimes sellers drop their property price by a few thousand dollars once in a quarter. But, if you see significant and frequent drops in the price, consider it a red flag.
Ask your real estate agent or find out yourself why the property price is fluctuating at this rate. Is there a problem with the structure or the neighbourhood? Is there a contract failure? Do your due diligence to find out all the reasons.
The real estate industry is prone to fraud and misconduct. You must be careful about any past or pending litigation issues attached to the property. If the house has a history of litigation, it is advised to avoid buying it. You can gather all the legal information about a house by contacting the county office where the property is located. You can also contact the homeowners association and the neighbours for these details.
The house is being sold as-is
Sellers list a property as-is when they don’t make any repair or improvement in the house before the sale. They put up the property for sale in the current condition. As-is homes are kept unmaintained for a long time, and the homeowners mostly cannot afford to fix the flaws.
But, it doesn’t change the legal rights of the buyer. The listing agent must make the seller disclose all the problems related to the property. And as a buyer, you can negotiate the offer after getting the property inspected.
When buying a home, research if there is any psychological or social stigma attached to the house or the neighbourhood. There may be rumours around the house about death or violence. Such stigmas can affect the future value of the property and lower its demand.
Disagreement over the home inspection
There shouldn’t be any reason for a genuine seller to restrict a buyer from inspecting the house before purchasing it. A thorough home inspection by a professional inspector can uncover many things in the property that need immediate attention. Moving in and getting surprises every day will only make you regret your purchase. Therefore, if the seller isn’t comfortable with the idea of an inspection, you should drop the idea of going ahead with that property.
Property title issues
A title refers to the ownership of a property. It is transferred from the seller to the buyer by signing a deed. Ask questions about what type of deed are you signing? What rights will you get on the property? Can title Insurance help in protecting your investment? As a homebuyer, you must know the terms of the deed.
Properties requiring environmental clean-ups or having structural and zoning issues can also be a bad deal for you. Changing zoning is a complex and time-consuming legal process, and even after hiring an attorney, your success is non-guaranteed. If you lack project management and construction estimating skills and invest in a property with these issues, you may suffer delays, high expenses, and even losses.
No display images
While searching for a house online, if you come across a listing that contains no photographs, consider it a red flag because there can be a reason for the omission. Ask the listing agent for the photos and proceed with any property only after seeing the kitchen, bathrooms, and master bedroom images.
Before choosing a locality, check for the crime rates there. Contact the local police of that area and ask for the crime reports. These are time taking processes but worth doing and can save you a lot of stress after moving to that locality.
Consider the resale value
You may not have any re-selling plan soon; still, it’s not a bad idea to consider a property that can offer you a good resale value. Avoid picking up one on busy streets, and stay away from leased properties. Even if it does not bother you, these things will pose challenges while re-selling your home.
If you enter a house and see just one wall freshly painted, the seller may be trying to cover up a defect on that wall. Or the house is steaming with aroma candles, and all you can inhale is a strong smell of an air freshener, the owner may be trying to cloak a persistent foul smell. This may not be the case always, but follow your instinct and keep an eye on anything that you feel is out of place.
Nearby homes are up for sale
It can be a huge red flag if every second house in the locality is up for sale. The sudden increment in the property sale could indicate a problem like increasing crime rates or a proposed landfill in that area. Study the neighbourhood closely during the house-hunting process.
House is up for sale by the owner
The buyer and the seller can save some dollars by opting to transact without involving a real estate agent. But, this setup can bring you more troubles than ever. The home buying and selling process can be complex, and without a skilled agent to guide you through the journey, you may settle down for a house having significant problems with either the property or the deed.
Professional and certified brokers and real estate agents know what can go wrong in the house-hunting process. They are aware of the possible red flags and know how to deal with them.