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Open House Red Flags

Posted by Gabriela Mendoza on December 27, 2017
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The New Year is just around the corner! And when January rolls around, this will be a great time to shop around for a new home.

If you’re looking for a change, you need a bigger home or are looking to downsize, buying a home can have its challenges. When purchasing a home you have to go to various open houses, which give you a first peek at the house you’ve been eyeing for a while.

There are many things you should be on the lookout for when going to open houses, so we’ve compiled a list of red flags to watch out for when visiting homes:

Check out the neighbourhood

Take a look around the area before you step inside the open house. Glance down the street to see if there are several homes for sales, this could mean current residents aren’t happy with the area. If you see other homeowners outside, ask them questions about the neighbourhood to see if it’s a good location.

Also be on the lookout for signs of a thriving neighbourhood, like successful businesses, well-kept homes and an abundance of streetlights and sidewalks.


Home Maintenance

Once you step foot inside the house make sure you take a close look as to how the current homeowners have taken care of the property.

Broken fixtures, outdated electrical outlets, unusual drafts or three layers of roofing are just some signs that show the house hasn’t been well kept and you’re probably going to have to put money into fixing it once you move in.


Bad Smells

As soon as you walk in you will be greeted with a pleasant or dreadful smell. If you do smell anything funky it can mean there’s possible water damage, mildew or mold in the house.

Be aware of overly fragrant homes, as the current homeowners may be trying to mask the bad smell.

If you suspect something but still like the house, book a private tour with your agent, it will be harder to hide those smells when it’s just you and your agent conducting a walk-through.


Off-limit rooms

When you’re touring the open house, there may be some rooms that are locked or unavailable for you to see at the moment.

If there is an off-limits room it could be because the current homeowners are just storing a few items they haven’t been able to move yet or there could be something much worse in there. If you really like the house just be sure to book a private tour with your agent and request to see the locked room.


Fresh coat of paint

New paint can really brighten/change a room, but it can also be hiding bigger problems like water damage, mildew or mold, there can also be stains on the ceilings or saggy walls.



At the end of the day, you can always be on the lookout for these red flags but it’s always safe and smart to get a professional home inspection before buying that house you think is the one. Happy shopping!


Sources: HGTV, HuffingtonPost


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