Telltale Signs That Make a Home a Good – or Bad – Buy

If you’re looking for the perfect house in a good neighborhood at a great price, you may have to compromise to get what you want. Following are some things to consider:

D├ęcor: You may cringe at the ’60s shag rugs, flocked wallpaper and lime green living room, but cosmetic changes cost very little and can transform a place.

Appliances and Fixtures: The avocado-colored appliances and brown bathroom fixtures may cost more to fix, but if this is your dream house it’s a sound investment. An addition will also boost the value of your property while making it more livable for you and your family.

However, there are also unseen problems to be concerned with, like mold, critters and cracked foundations.

Following are some things to look for before you sign on the dotted line:

  • Signs of water damage
  • Out-of-date fuse boxes
  • Recent – and badly done – patching jobs (inside and out)
  • Signs of neglect such as cracked walkways and sagging decks
  • Problems such as sagging roofs, shingle loss or chimneys with bricks missing; in the attic there may be traces of animal life or damp patches
  • Ill-fitting windows, outside walls that feel icy in winter and other possible signs of insulation problems

How an Open House is Used to Sell a Home

With the popularity of online photographs and virtual tours, some people are of the opinion that an open house is a waste of time. However, sellers should think twice before discounting this time-tested strategy. Following are some things you need to know about hosting an open house:

What Is an Open House?

Unlike an individual showing, an open house allows anyone to view the home, whether they currently work with an agent or not. It’s an excellent way to attract buyers new to the market or just beginning a search, those without an agent, and even sporadic buyers who aren’t necessarily in the market but share the information with family and friends.

Who Should Host an Open House?

Hosting an open house is not for the novice. Real estate agents not only provide the marketing, scheduling and even security advice, but make sure the home is properly presented to prospective buyers who decide to drop in and see the home.

How Do Open Houses Sell a Home?

Higher-Priced Homes: An open house is often effective in helping to sell homes priced above the median average for a given location, especially when used in combination with the Multiple Listing Service and online listings.

Tough Market: In 2005, more than 50% of sellers used an open house, with various degrees of success. However, that rate has declined in part due to the numerous foreclosures on the market. Unfortunately for sellers, trying to compete on price alone is difficult – and costly. Instead, use an open house to showcase the property and the neighborhood. It’s one more way to help your house stand out from the crowd in a buyer’s market.

Unique or Uncommon Features: Without doubt, one of the most important reasons to hold an open house is to showcase a unique property or special features that are difficult to communicate or conceptualize. Sometimes it really is necessary to see a property to believe it, and an open house allows the buyer to fall in love at first sight by experiencing it firsthand.