4 Signs a Home Listing Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be

by Carson BuckAugust 28, 2017

Found a Home Listing You Like? Watch Out for These Warning Signs

As the summer real estate season rolls on, true to form, more and more homes are listed and competition remains stiff. Another thing you can rely on – a seller and their agent are going to paint the home as beautifully as they can to secure a sale. But if you’re looking to buy, you have to be careful you don’t fall for such crafty salesmen tricks.

Pay attention when you visit a home and do your own careful inspections to look for any signs that the house you’re walking around in isn’t the home that’s being promised by the Realtor. Here are four key warning signs to keep an eye out for that will tell you the home listing isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
house listing red flags warning signs of bad real estate listings

#1: Cracks in the Foundation

If you or your professional inspector discover cracks in the home’s foundation, this is a serious red flag. Such cracks can cause untold amounts of damage and they can be extremely expensive to repair.

For instance, if water has seeped into the home and mold formed as a result, you can expect to pay up to (or even over) $5,000 for mold remediation. And that’s not including the cost of repairing the foundation. Be extra wary, as foundation cracks are often the very reason why the sellers are trying to get out.

#2: Old or Faulty Electrical Wiring

Old homes are often priced lower than their modern counterparts, but there are reasons why they’re priced to sell. One such reason is knob-and-tube wiring.

Knob-and-tube wiring is a very old, inefficient, and even dangerous form of household wiring. It is not suitable for newer appliances and the wires are usually so old that the insulation is often broken off in places. This not only makes the wiring a high fire risk, but it’s also very expensive to have the home updated to a safer, newer wiring system.
house listing red flags warning signs of bad real estate listings electrical

#3: Old or Damaged Roof

The 2016 Cost vs Value Report for Los Angeles, California puts the cost of an average midrange roof replacement at $26,306. That is a tremendous amount of money to have to put out right after buying a home.

Bearing in mind that a good quality roof can last as long as 30 years, depending on the climate you’re buying in, once a roof pasts its normal lifecycle, the amount of damage that can occur to the interior of the house can be very costly. Before you sign on the bottom line, have the roof inspected by a professional.
house listing red flags warning signs of bad real estate listings old roof

#4: Zoning Regulations

If you’re like most people, when you shop for a home you think about what you can do with it, like taking a wall down here, adding a bathroom there, installing a deck outside, and so on. But, all too often, the local zoning regulations don’t exactly comply with your wishes and dreams.

The last thing you want to do is to buy a home only to find out later that the local zoning regulations are impossibly strict. So, don’t rely on the seller’s or the agent’s words when discussing these matters. Visit the local zoning board personally to find out what the municipality’s rules and regulations are before you buy.

Keep a Watchful Eye Out

If you’re thinking about buying a new home this year or the next, keeping a watch out for these house listing red flags will help ensure you avoid buying a money-pit. Almost everything else in a home can be fixed somewhat affordably, but missing the above four problems could wind up costing you more than might imagine.

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About The Author
Carson Buck
Carson is a real estate agent based out of Phoenix, Arizona. Carson loves data and market research, and how readily available it is in today's world. He is passionate about interpreting these insights to help his clients find and buy their perfect home. Carson got into the real estate industry because he loves the feeling of handing over the keys to a new home to happy clients. In his free time, he works on his backyard bonsai garden and spends time with his wife, Julia.