real estate

Real estate red flags

 

[Begin VIDEO with Kristin Arnold, Bankrate.com anchor introducing the video topic]

Kristin Arnold: When you're in the market to buy a home, you usually pay attention to the main items you're looking for…like price, size and location. But buying a home in today's market is challenging and there are several red flags you need to be aware of.

[cut to video with Kristin Arnold narrating]

77 percent of homebuyers begin their search online. And in the age of internet shopping, not having photos posted can be a red flag.

[cut to real estate agent, Amy Simmonds, speaking]

Amy Simmonds: "You would think that after years and years of selling real estate, I would look past that, but I don't either. I assume typically 'Hmmm… That's not a house that I want to show a client."

[Continue video with Kristin Arnold narrating]

Kristin Arnold: How a house is described can either attract or repel buyers. On one hand, a listing that claims to offer the very best property and other superlative statements might not live up to your expectations. On the other hand, if a listing doesn't offer enough descriptive adjectives….it's probably not interesting enough to visit.

A listing should give you the information needed to determine if the house suits what you're looking for…while remaining true to its description.

Did you find that perfect house in the perfectly manicured neighborhood for the perfect price? Well, did you ask about the monthly Homeowners association fees? If not, you may be in for a shock!

HOA fees can be so high that it can make a home unaffordable. A listing that doesn't inform a potential buyer of monthly, quarterly or yearly HOA fees is a red flag.

In the last few years, buyers have had a crash course on buying distressed properties, whether short sales or foreclosures. Typically, you will find more aggressively priced homes with short sales and foreclosures. But know what you're getting into before you fall in love with the house and the price…because that love can quickly turn to dread.

[Cut to Amy Simmonds speaking]

Amy Simmonds: I know that even in this community there are multiple homes that have been sitting vacant with no electricity for over two-and-a-half years, so in the winter time it might be fine, but when you think about the heat in the summer and the mold and the mildew and the things that can go wrong, you really have to be prepared for the worst.

[Continue video with Kristin Arnold narrating]

The trick to not getting tricked when buying a home is to hire an experienced and educated real estate agent. Agents are buffers that take the spam out of property listings and visits. They're knowledgeable about neighborhoods…and can give you the facts about schools, crime rate and demographics. Most importantly they have the negotiation skills that have your best interest in mind.

For more home buying tips, visit real estate's new reality special feature at Bankrate.com. I'm Kristin Arnold.

[END VIDEO CLIP]

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