Don’t fall for these tricks when buying a home

When someone is selling a house, it’s only natural they use every means possible to cast their home in the best possible light. But sometimes, sellers can cross the line into deceit. And unfortunately, there are some real estate tricks that can hide flaws in a home for sale. Here are six common tricks to watch out for.

The Smell of Freshly Baked Cookies

Exposure to mold can cause everything from coughing and wheezing to more serious respiratory problems, according to the Center for Disease Control. And unfortunately, some sellers and their agents sometimes cover up the sight — or smell — of mold in a home with freshly baked cookies and other distractions. Mold is already sometimes difficult to detect, said Than Merrill, host of A&E’s “Flip This House” and CEO and founder of FortuneBuilders.com.

“While there are certainly exceptions, mold, for the most part, can be hard to find — if you don’t know what to look for, that is,” said Merrill. While mold certainly has a distinct smell, its odor is far from the only sign that it might be present in a home for sale. “If you are aware of what mold needs to survive, it’s very easy to deduce whether or not a home is susceptible to the spread of fungus,” he added.

Mold requires a damp, dark environment to thrive and reproduce, so if you can identify an area of the house that meets this criteria, it’s worth looking into, said Merrill. He suggested adding a mold inspection to your list of contingencies.

“If the mold inspection comes back positive, then it may be time to back out, or at least receive a quote for removal and damages to get a reduction on your offer price,” he said.

A Fresh Coat of Paint

Like mold, water damage is a fairly common problem in homes for sale, said Merrill. Fortunately, although some home sellers might try to cover it up with a fresh coat of paint, water damage can be pretty easy to spot, he said.

“You would be surprised at how easy it is to differentiate a freshly painted wall from one that hasn’t received the same attention. Any attempt to cover up a water-damaged wall with a fresh coat of paint may actually draw more scrutiny than [the seller] hoped for,” said Merrill.

Get up close and compare the freshly painted area’s texture to the area around it, suggested Merrill. “Water damage has a tendency to dilute applied textures, making them flatter than the surrounding area. If you notice a spot on the wall with a slightly different texture, you may be looking at a blatant attempt to cover up water damage,” he said.

And if you’re still uncertain, push on the spot in question. “Water damage will weaken the dexterity of drywall, making it soft to the touch,” said Merrill. If the wall gives under your thumb, it’s likely water damaged. To determine how bad the problem is will require an inspection.

“In some cases, water damage may not be so bad that you need to back out of a deal, but in other cases it may be,” said Merrill.

A False Sense of Urgency to Buy

One of the tenets of sales is to create a sense of urgency, and there are many ways to do this, such as pricing a home competitively or offering incentives. Unfortunately, some sellers revert to less-than-completely-honest tactics such as claiming there are multiple offers on a property when there aren’t, or putting false deadlines on accepting offers.

“While the act of creating a false deadline or fabricating offers is hard to identify, it’s not difficult to avoid becoming a victim of such a practice,” said Merrill. One way to combat this is to do your research to learn a property’s true value and not allow any outside factors to sway you from that price, he said.

“Stick to your budget, and make a fair offer on your prospective property regardless of threats of high-volume offers. If it turns out there wasn’t as much demand as stated, you will be happily informed when your offer is considered, or better yet, accepted,” said Merrill.

And if it turns out that, in fact, there were multiple offers on the property and it sells for a higher price, be content that you didn’t overspend and that it wasn’t the home for you, said Merrill.

Downplaying the Cost of Renovations

A house that’s listed as a fixer-upper can be a great opportunity to score a home that, with a little money and a lot of sweat equity, could be worth more than you put into it. But if you estimate wrong and go over budget on repairs, you could stand to lose. Don’t count on the seller to look out for your pocketbook.

But there are ways to protect yourself, said Merrill. “To be sure that you know what you are buying, I definitely recommend implementing as many contingencies as possible when it comes to these properties,” he said.

Of particular importance is making the sale of the property contingent upon inspections. “It is entirely possible to draft a legally binding contract that makes the sale of the property contingent on whether or not it passes your inspections,” said Merrill. That way, you don’t have to commit to buying the property until you know everything about it.

You can even bring out contractors and get estimates of how much repairs or renovations will cost. “Any homeowner unwilling to agree to such terms may have other intentions,” warned Merrill.

Falsifying When Appliances Were Bought

Appliances are a big deal in modern homes. When they’re old and in need of repair or replacement, it can be a budget-buster. Old or dilapidated appliances are also signs that a homeowner might not have kept up on maintenance in other areas of a home. So, it’s no wonder sellers might want to fool you into thinking appliances are newer than they really are. But sometimes, they can go to extreme — albeit noticeable — lengths to fool you.

“My favorite homeowner trick that’s used to try to deceive a homebuyer is using a magic marker to write an installed date on a furnace or hot water heater,” said Scott Brown, owner of Brightside Home Inspections.

It’s an attempt to make the unit look newer than it is. But the good news is that if you have a good, detail-oriented inspector, it will always fail.

“Homeowners that do this don’t realize that the ID plate of the unit has a code that reveals the manufacturing date, or they hope that the home inspector doesn’t catch it,” said Brown. But since it’s unlikely a water heater or furnace that was manufactured 13 years ago was sitting around unused until last winter, your inspector should be able to spot this fraud, he said.

Deceitful Photos

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. But sometimes, you might not want to believe all of them. “A picture doesn’t always tell the truth. Keep a close eye where the photographs are taken for the property listing,” said Dylan Kinsella, a property investor.

Obviously, it’s fair to show a property in its best light, especially for flyers and brochures. But Kinsella said you should check out the parts of the home that are not shown in photos. Often, agents are trying to hide something that would lower the home’s value or something that needs repair.

He added that it doesn’t stop with photos. “If the property has multiple entrances, which one did the realtor take you through? Check the other entrances to the property to be sure there are no hidden faults,” he said. He calls this his door of truth test.

From GoBankingRates.com: Don’t Fall for These Tricks When Buying a Home

ad-high_impact_4
Business
Bellagio, MGM Resorts International’s luxury hotel turns 20
The more than 3,000-room Bellagio hotel is situated on the site of the former Dunes Hotel. The Dunes was imploded in 1993, and construction of the Bellagio started in 1996. It cost $1.6 billion to build, making it the most expensive hotel in the world at the time. The Bellagio was former Wynn Resorts Ltd. Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn’s second major casino on the Strip after The Mirage. MGM Resorts International acquired the property from Steve Wynn in 2000. (Tara Mack/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Facial recognition software at G2E – Todd Prince
Shing Tao, CEO of Las Vegas-based Remark Holdings, talks about his facial recognition product. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal, speaks about his new Las Vegas chicken restaurant
Former NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal, speaks about his new Las Vegas chicken restaurant. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Bobby Baldwin to leave MGM
MGM Resorts International executive and professional poker player Bobby Baldwin is set to leave MGM.
Caesars has new armed emergency response teams
Caesars Entertainment Corp. has created armed emergency response teams. They are composed of former military and law enforcement officials. "These teams provide valuable additional security capabilities,” Caesars spokeswoman Jennifer Forkish said. Caesars is hiring Security Saturation Team supervisors, managers and officers, according to LinkedIn. The company did not say how many people it plans to hire for the units. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas, airlines prepare for CES
CES in January is expected to attract more than 180,000 attendees. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
AGS partners with Vegas Golden Knights
AGS is the nation’s second-largest manufacturer of Class II slot machines used primarily in tribal jurisdictions. It announced a marketing partnership with the Vegas Golden Knights NHL team. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Lehman Brothers bet big on Las Vegas
Lehman Brothers collapsed 10 years ago, helping send the country into the Great Recession.
Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Ross & Snow launches in Las Vegas
Luxury shoe brand Ross & Snow has opened in Las Vegas, featuring "functional luxury" with premium shearling footwear. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Remote Identification and Drones
DJI vice president of policy and public affairs discusses using remote identification on drones. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Drones and public safety in Nevada
Two representatives in the drone industry discuss UAV's impact on public safety. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Frontier Airlines to launch flights from Las Vegas to Mexico
Frontier, a Denver-based ultra-low-cost carrier, will become the first airline in more than a decade to offer international service to Canada and Mexico from Las Vegas when flights to Cancun and Los Cabos begin Dec. 15. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren addresses Oct. 1 lawsuits
MGM Resorts International Chairman and CEO Jim Murren addresses criticism his company has received for filing a lawsuit against the survivors of the Oct. 1 shooting. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International opens the doors on MGM Springfield
Massachusetts’ first hotel-casino opens in downtown Springfield. The $960 million MGM Springfield has 252 rooms and 125,000-square-feet of casino. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International prepares to open MGM Springfield
Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts International gave news media and invited guests a preview of the $960 million MGM Springfield casino in Massachusetts. The commonwealth's first resort casino will open Friday, Aug. 24. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A Walk Through Circus Circus
It only takes a short walk through Circus Circus to realize it attracts a demographic like no other casino on the Strip: families with young children. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Morphy Auctions, a vintage slot machines seller, wants gaming license
Vice president Don Grimmer talks about Morphy Auctions at the company's warehouse located at 4520 Arville Street in Las Vegas on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada's venture capital money doesn't stay in state
Zach Miles, associate vice president for economic development for UNLV, said there’s venture money in Southern Nevada, “but trying to find the right groups to tap into for that money is different.” According to a 2017 report from the Kauffman Foundation, Las Vegas ranked number 34 out of 40 metropolitan areas for growth entrepreneurship, a metric of how much startups grow. With a lack of growing startups in Las Vegas, investment money is being sent outside of state borders. The southwest region of the U.S. received $386 million in funding in the second quarter, with about $25.2 million in Nevada. The San Francisco area alone received about $5.6 billion. (source: CB Insights)
Neon wraps can light up the night for advertising
Vinyl wrap company 5150 Wraps talks about neon wraps, a new technology that the company believes can boost advertising at night. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Nevada on the forefront of drone safety
Dr. Chris Walach, senior director of Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems, talks to a reporter at NIAS's new Nevada Drone Center for Excellence of Public Safety, located inside the Switch Innevation Center in Las Vegas. K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @KMCannonPhoto
Motel 8 on south Strip will become site of hotel-casino
Israeli hoteliers Asher Gabay and Benny Zerah bought Motel 8 on the south Strip for $7.4 million, records show. They plan to bulldoze the property and build a hotel-casino. Motel 8 was built in the 1960s and used to be one of several roadside inns on what's now the south Strip. But it looks out of place today, dwarfed by the towering Mandalay Bay right across the street.
Life
Celebrity photographer dedicates dance book to Las Vegas shooting victims
Behind the scenes with local celebrity photographer Jerry Metellus as he talks about his Dance For Vegas coffee book dedicated to the 58 victims of the October 1 shooting. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Dreamsickle Kids Foundation founder Gina Glass talks awareness
Gina Glass, 35, founded Dreamsickle Kids Foundation to raise awareness for sickle cell disease in Nevada. (Jessie Bekker/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Meadows School founding kindergarten teacher retires after 34 years at the school
Linda Verbon, founder of the The Meadows School's kindergarten program and the first faculty member hired at the school, retired in the spring after 34 years at The Meadows. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Kids become firefighters at Fire Station 98 open house
Henderson residents wore fire hats, learned about CPR and met firefighters at the Fire Station 98 open house Saturday, August 11, 2018. (Marcus Villagran Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
People from all over the world attend RollerCon 2018
RollerCon 2018 is a five-day convention focused on the roller derby community and culture at Westgate in Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like