Be Alert: Red Flags When Touring Homes

Mar 28, 2021 • Our Blog
Be Alert: Red Flags When Touring Homes

Low housing inventory rates have caused a surge in home prices and offers. Buyers are bidding well above asking price and offering all kinds of incentives, such as sizeable due diligence deposits, fast closing promises, and remote purchasing.  While it makes sense to make your offer as competitive as possible, you must look out for yourself long-term. This is one of the largest purchases you will make in life, and you do not want to buy a headache and years of sleepless nights. As you tour homes with your real estate agent, they can advise you on properties that will benefit you for years to come; however, it is always nice to know a little before you get started on your home search. Here is our list of red flags to look for when you tour properties with your agent:


Doors That Will Not Close

Doors that will not close suggest possible framing issues, which can be costly expenses and something you will unlikely be able to fix yourself. If you notice items like this, do not be afraid to ask your agent their thoughts.


Smells of All Kinds

Use your senses to your advantage. Smells indicate the history of the home. While listing agents will try their best to remove any foul odors, they can still linger. You will want to check for any smell such as:

  • Pets
  • Smoking
  • Mold/mildew
  • Burning
  • Rotten egg/sulfur


Visible Termite Infestations

Termites can wreak havoc on the wood structure of your home. Depending on where you live, your agent will order a termite analysis as part of your home inspection.


Water Stains

Water stains suggest both past and present leaking, and, depending on the severity of the leak, you could continue to see that damage grow. Untreated water damage can also lead to mold and mildew issues.


DIY Upgrades

Many homeowners do not realize that making additions to houses such as fencing, structural changes, bedrooms, and bathrooms require permits. DIY jobs often have not obtained these permits, and you could be buying into their mistakes.


Spot Painting

New paint is standard on a listed home; however, if you notice single spots or rooms of fresh paint, that may be a sign to look further and ask questions. They could be hiding leaks or other signs of damage, and it is essential to ask the listing agent/seller why this extra paint was needed.


Windows & Curtains Closed

One of the first things an agent does when presenting a home for sale is open all the windows and curtains to bring in natural light, giving a warm and relaxed feeling to the home. Unless they are a new agent that is making mistakes, they are likely trying to hide something by keeping you in the dark.


The Price Is Too Good to Be True

Home prices are subject to market conditions and comparable properties in the area. If this home seems like the price is too reasonable to be true, it likely is. While this is not a sign to run, it is time to ask more questions. Find out if the home:

  • Has been on the market for a long time
  • Was under contract but the previous buyer dropped out
  • Has a history of issues


When looking for a home, it is critical to have a great lender to ensure your pre-approval is strong enough to land you your dream home. Click here and speak with one of our experienced mortgage advisors today.