When you begin shopping for real estate, it's wise to look for signs of hidden problems in a house for sale. Be alert for amateur home staging efforts that could be covering up flaws, as well as other indications of problems.
Distracting Pleasant Aromas
If you are greeted with the scent of freshly baked bread or cookies when you arrive, you can't know what the house actually smells like. Scented candles in numerous rooms also pose a problem.
Ask the real estate agent to set another appointment for you to visit without those aromas wafting through the place. You want to know if you can detect odors such as mildew, pet urine or cigarette smoke.
Lights Left On
If the homeowner left several lights on, that can hide a lack of natural light. Turn off any lamps and overhead fixtures and view what the rooms look like without artificial lighting.
Strategically Placed Rugs
Look under all the area rugs to see if they are covering any flaws. They might be hiding carpet stains or abnormal wear, or chips, cracks or scratches in the flooring.
Furniture in Odd Places
When a piece of furniture seems to be placed in an unusual position and appears at odds with the rest of the furniture, take a look behind it. There might be a dent or hole in the wall, or some other flaw.
Signs of Structural Issues
Some states have laws requiring home sellers to disclose roof leaks and other structural issues to potential buyers. Find out whether your state has such regulations. That will protect you if you discover any fundamental problems after you buy the house that the seller should have been aware of.
Scheduling a home inspection is an even better way of protecting yourself since it will identify problems before you sign on the dotted line. If an inspection uncovers fundamental issues, you can ask for a reduced price from the seller, or request in a conditional purchase offer that the problems be fixed.
If you don't schedule an inspection, you'll need to look for hidden problems yourself. For example, mismatched panels of ceiling tile may indicate that the homeowner replaced some tiles because of a roof leak. However, the homeowner may have had the roof repaired or replaced since that happened. They should be able to show you the paperwork verifying when this home improvement work was done.
Following these tips will help you buy a place that's truly satisfactory, and you won't have to deal with any unpleasant surprises after you move in. To learn more, speak with a real estate expert, like those at Chris Calhoon Real Estate.