If you’re looking for homes to buy right now, I know it feels like there’s a lot at stake. In a market that’s this hot everything can feel rushed: you want to find the perfect home, make an offer, and (hopefully) be the owners of said perfect home. When I’m with buyers and we’re at a showing or open house, there are a few things I always do.
1. Eyeball the roof and gutters, just to see if there’s anything noticeable. Replacing a roof is expensive, and in a seller’s market, it’s not necessarily something that you may be able to negotiate.
2. I always say the best day to look at a house is in the pouring rain or the day after. In this market, however, time is limited so this is something to be aware of and ask about if you haven’t been able to see it under those circumstances. If there is too much water near the foundation of the home, water can leak into the basement in the tiniest crack.
3. Check the wood siding on the outside of the home for rot and insects.
4. Does everything function & look as it should? I know it seems basic, but it’s so important! Some of my common suggestions:
Make sure the doors open and close properly (this could be an underlying foundation issue)
Check light switches & look for flickering lights (could be electrical)
Are there stains on the walls or the ceiling (could be leaks)?
Are there any funky smells or is there too much air freshener (could be mold/mildew/animal stains and trying to cover it up)?
Of course, not all of these things will indicate a problem, but I want my buyers to be cautious and know what to expect and look for when they’re searching. Emotions can get the best of us sometimes and I don’t want them to settle for a home they love just to be stuck with long-term issues later.
While this is not a comprehensive list, it’s a good start and if any of these things are problems, we can use that in negotiations or we can move on to another house. If you decide to move forward, there is always a home inspection and contingencies can be put in place at that time. Also, important to note that if you do end up buying the home, you will want to check all of these things again at your final walk-through to make sure they’ve been addressed.
Cheers to house hunting! If you’re in the market, I wish you luck, and if you’re local, call me!
Casey Rutherford is relationship driven and results oriented. Connecting with other top real estate agents is a priority for her, as she uses her professional network to win deals, stay informed of off market and coming soon properties, and to proactively market homes for sale. Her keen eye for design allows her to help buyers envision what a home could like and gives sellers the tools they need to prepare their home for market. Your largest investment is Casey’s largest priority.