These days, it seems like homes are rarely on the market for more than a day before they’re in contract. But if you see a house go from on the market to pending and back, take note. Many factors can cause this, like the buyer’s financing falling through, but if it happens repeatedly, that’s a red flag. Maybe the appraisal is coming back wildly off from the asking price; maybe the inspection is turning up a host of issues the seller doesn’t want to address (and won’t budge on the asking price to accommodate those costs). It’s worth asking your real estate agent to investigate before you make an offer. And, whatever you do, don’t skip the inspection.
4. It’s Got a Few Unsexy Replacements Coming Up
Does the price of the home also reflect the major appliances you’ll need to replace over the next couple of years? Home warranty service American Home Shield says one in five of its clients wind up placing a service request within their first 30 days of owning a home.
“Different systems wear out at different times,” says Raj Midha, senior vice president and general manager. “In our experience, appliance claims tend to hit their peak when a home is around 10 to 15 years old, while other systems, such as air conditioners, peak when a home is 15 to 20 years old. This is something you’ll want to be aware of when purchasing an older home to avoid any surprises later on.”
5. You Keep Coming Back to the Curb Appeal
You know all those stories you’ve read about low-effort ways to boost your home’s value, like painting your front door black or upgrading your landscaping? Well, now is time to keep them in mind as you’re oohing and aahhing over houses you tour. Fresh exterior paint, a new driveway, updated kitchen cabinets and a new front door are four high-ROI projects, Young says. But if they’re the only upgrades in a house that’s demanding top dollar, the sellers may be leaning on them too much.