No home buyer wants to spend a huge amount of money on a house that ends up being way below their expectations, and of course, few things are more frustrating than feeling like you’ve been cheated. But when you already close the deal, it’s going to be a hassle (and sometimes impossible) to make a case against the seller who hadn’t been completely honest with you. And trust us, there are a lot of loopholes that can help them get away with it.
For this reason, doing proper research and getting services such as land surveying from 3D-scanning companies is imperative when checking out a property. More than that, knowing how to spot a dishonest seller is crucial when you’re looking for a home, especially if it’s your first time.
1. The scent in the room is too strong
Most sellers place an air freshener or diffuser in the room to evoke certain feelings when you tour a house, such as warmth, cleanliness, and positivity. However, watch out for homes that lay on the scents too strong. In most cases, the seller is trying to cover up unpleasant smells in the room, usually pet stenches, cigarette ash, septic issues, or poorly-maintained carpets.
Figure out what’s being masked by the artificial scent. If you must, ask the seller to turn off the diffuser or remove the air freshener from the room.
2. The paint is new
New coats of paint on walls, ceilings, or exteriors don’t always mean that the seller is trying to hide something, but it’s always safer to be wary until proven otherwise. A fresh coat of paint might be hiding issues with the house, such as water damage, mold accumulation, wood rot, and much, much more.
Technically, sellers are obligated by law to disclose information that can affect the property’s value. However, there are many home issues that sellers can hide and be able to get away with scot-free, such as the ones mentioned above.
When you sense the smell of fresh paint in a potential house, have a certified home inspector look at the house before you make an offer.
3. There’s music playing
Waking into a house where there’s mood music playing helps set the mood and evokes positive feelings within you. Lots of sellers do this as a tactic to increase your attraction to the home. However, that is not always the case. It’s a great way for some sellers to mask noise coming from outside, which, of course, not all sellers are willing to fully disclose with potential buyers.
Playing mood music is not the only way that homeowners block out noise from the outside. They can also use thicker windows (which are effective until you open them), thick bushes around the property, or high fences to mask the sounds. But whatever it is that they use, excessive noise around the property generally decreases its value. Apart from the fact that you have to deal with the noise if you buy the house, it can also be more difficult to sell it again.
4. The hedges are too high
High hedges increase a property’s privacy and can deter potential burglars. However, they can also block something from view, especially when they are situated in the side yards. What is the seller trying to block? Is it the neighbors’ eyesore of a backyard? The unpleasant creek behind the land? Or perhaps the overgrown flora near the edge of the property?
Find out what the seller is trying to hide. Chances are, you’re going to be dealing with whatever it is if you buy the property.
5. The price is too good to be true
The adage “if it’s too good to be true, then it probably is” is perfectly applicable when it comes to real estate. If the house’s price and condition don’t match up (the house doesn’t look like it should be priced that low), then the seller is most likely trying to get rid of it as soon as they possibly can. But why? Are there problems with the house that they’d much rather not deal with? Was there a violent crime that happened inside the house? Is the property next door going to be a construction site soon?
Be wary of possible problems that can come with a cheap house. You might end up paying dearly despite the small price tag.
In a perfect world, home sellers would be completely honest about their house’s condition and history. Sadly, we’re in the real world, and there is always a risk of dealing with dishonest sellers. Nevertheless, you can sniff out lies or half-truths easily when touring a house. You have to know what to look for.