Common Red Flags Home Buyers Should Be Aware Of

Posted by Lauren Schneider on Tuesday, February 11th, 2020 at 9:46am.

Buying a Home? Red Flags to Watch ForHome sellers like to make their property look as good as possible. During home showings and open houses, most maintenance problems are hidden from view. There may be no way to tell a distressed property from a well-maintained property without getting an inspection from a good home inspector. Knowing the red flags can help you avoid purchasing a property in need of costly repairs. Here's what you need to know.

For informational purposes only. Always consult with a licensed real estate professional before proceeding with any real estate transaction.

Parts of the House Are Inaccessible

Home buyers need to see the entire house before making a purchase offer. If parts of the house are inaccessible during the showing, this could be an oversight, or it could be an attempt to hide a potential maintenance problem. Home buyers who want to make an offer should first see the whole house, including the basement, garage and any guest rooms.

Small Maintenance Problems

Homeowners who fail to fix the small maintenance problems that occur in their home might also be neglecting the bigger maintenance problems. Minor issues like broken door knobs, holes in the walls and dirty carpeting could be indicative that the homeowner is too busy or financially stretched to take proper care of their house. Buyers thinking about making an offer on a home with many small maintenance problems may need to rethink their offer before sending a contract to the seller.

Strange Odors

Strange odors could be a sign that a homeowner doesn't take out the trash enough, or could be a sign of a mold problem. Sometimes strange odors happen when a house is shut up for a long time without getting any fresh air. Odors can also occur when a homeowner smokes cigarettes. Cigarette smoke especially can be difficult to get rid of, so home buyers who are thinking about purchasing a home from someone who smokes should be aware of the challenges that come from eliminating cigarette smoke odors.

DIY Repairs

Some homeowners love to make their own DIY repairs. Unfortunately, not all homeowners are capable of making these repairs properly. A homeowner who does their own repair work might be doing things all wrong, which could lead to problems down the road.

Identifying DIY work can be tough. Sometimes buyers can spot DIY work by looking for unusual methods of solving problems. Duct tape wrapped around a pipe, an upside down doorknob or a faucet handle that turns the wrong way could all be signs that the homeowner has been doing their own repair work.


Homeowners who experience serious financial hardship often stop taking care of their house. Home buyers considering a foreclosed property should be aware that the home may have many hidden problems behind the walls. A good home inspector can help the buyer decide what kind of problems they might be in for after the house sells.

Contact Your Real Estate Professional

An experienced real estate professional will know the red flags to watch for, and can point them out to a Southwest Colorado Springs home buyer during the home buying process. Working with a real estate professional can help you make smarter choices throughout the home buying process. If you're a home buyer who would like to get started with the purchasing process soon, contact an experienced real estate professional in your area.

For informational purposes only. Always consult with a licensed real estate professional before proceeding with any real estate transaction.

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