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Common red flags in property listings

Whether it’s the first family home or an investment for a portfolio, buying a property can be a long process that requires a lot of in-depth research. Of course, while there are plenty of things to check when you visit a property, some of the most important assessments can be made before you even enter the front door.

With many building inspections happening on weekends, often at the same time, it’s important to prioritise the properties that are likely to tick off those important boxes. The property listing is a great way to narrow down your search and choose the inspections that are right for you. But what exactly should you be looking for and how can you avoid property inspections that are a waste of time? Here, we’ll go through some common red flags you may find when searching for a property online.

Photography

Not only can you get a feel for a property from the photos on a listing, you’ll learn a whole lot about the property by the photos that aren’t included as well. If the listing includes more photos of the community than it does the home, or if there are key areas – such as the kitchen or bathroom – that have been left out of photo collection, this is a big indicator that something is going on. Property owners want to flaunt details of their property to potential buyers; a lack of photos could mean the property needs a lot of work or is quite small.

Seems a little too good to be true

Unfortunately, when it comes to real estate, if it seems like it’s too good to be true it probably is. A price that is well under the typical market value in the area is one of the biggest red flags you’ll see on a listing. While there could be a valid reason behind the low price, such as a motivated seller who needs to relocate for a new job, it’s worth doing further research to determine the reason.

Fancy wording hiding possible issues

Flowery wording in real estate listings is pretty common, but there are common phrases to look out for that could indicate a property may not be the right one for you.

Just some examples:

“cosy” or “quaint” – could mean small
“renovators delight” or “being sold as-is” – may mean it needs more work than you’re ready to put in
“great investor opportunity” – could mean the property already has a tenant
“quiet neighbourhood” – may mean travelling further for those groceries

 

Multiple listings for the same street or block

While it could be a coincidence, having multiple properties go up for sale in the same street could point to something negative that’s driving the decision to sell.

Once you’ve eliminated obvious non-contenders with red flags, you can begin further investigation of your property shortlist.

Call us on 1300 553 007 during business hours, Monday to Friday from 8:00am to 5:00pm & Saturday 9:00am to 4:00pm to speak to one of our friendly team. Request an obligation free quote 24/7 via our Free Quote Form

 

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