ATTENTION: 12 Red Flags For a Home Buyer

Real Estate Agent with HomeSmart Real Estate BR632450000

ATTENTION! Here are some RED FLAGS as your REALTOR® that I would point out to a prospective home buyer to be aware off when looking closely at a home that you may be considering. Sure, the great location and curb appeal look great but slow down and keep your eye out for these 12 Red Flags that may lead to future problems and expense. (Attention Image by Gerd Altmann of Pixabay).


Although these Red Flags may not mean that you should not buy the home, but you should estimate the future costs and address that in the price that you through me as your REALTOR® wish to offer the Seller. In some cases these repair costs may be factored into the Seller's list price, but we will review together to find out.


12 Red Flags For Home Buyers from

"We like to think that home sellers are as forthcoming as we might be when disclosing the whole truth about a property’s shortfalls. Consider these red flags that may mean trouble down the road for new home buyers. They are easy to spot and may help you narrow down your choices.

1. The Neighbors Are Moving Out: Make
sure several nearby homes are not up for
sale. Neighbors leaving the same area in
large numbers may indicate a rising crime rate,
a proposed development nearby, or other
factors you are not aware of. Do your research.

Moving Truck

Photo: Joe Gerlach from Pixabay

2. Foundation Problems: Cracks and bulges
in the foundation that are larger than 1/2
inch may indicate a structural problem, and
repairing the structure can be pricey. Also,
keep an eye out for recently patched large
cracks. Hairline cracks are normal and occur
naturally over time.

3. Locked Rooms: Nothing screams “Don’t
look!” like a locked door. Ask about any
rooms that are made “off limits” by the
homeowner, and make sure you arrange to
tour again later.

4. Old or Faulty Wiring: Check light switches
and circuits to know they work in the
house. Beware of flickering lights, warm
face plates, or outlets. Wiring problems
can be a complicated and costly repair to
make as you first move in, and electricity is
something you don’t want to wait on.

5. Windows or Doors That Won’t Close:
Windows and doors that won’t close may be
an indication of a shifting frame.

Old Door

Photo: Demitris Vetsikas from Pixabay

6. Weird Odors or Strong Air Fresheners:
If the strong scent of air fresheners hits you

upon entering a home, consider what the
potential seller is trying to hide. Some odors
are caused by mold and mildew, pet urine, or
old carpeting. The same goes for unexplained
odors outside of the home.

7. Current Insect Infestation: Be on the lookout
for signs of pest infestation, especially termites.
According to, the telltale signs
include “small piles of tiny brown droppings
on a floor near a wall; a hollow sound when
you knock on a wood surface and the presence
of mud tubes on a foundation. Termites are
subterranean, so they construct tiny tunnels of
mud along the foundation and walls.”

8. Water Stains: Water can rot wood over time,
so water stains on the ceiling may indicate a
larger problem. They may be evidence of a roof
leak, or plumbing problem, which could mean
costly repairs.

9. Saggy Ceilings: Even if the ceiling sag
is slight, this is a red flag. Sagging ceilings
indicate serious problems, such as structural
movement, roof leaks, or termites – all of which
can mean costly repairs.

10. Sloping Floors: Floors that noticeably
slope can be an indication of several expensive
issues. These include rotted support beams,
broken joists, or a foundation problem.

11. Curling or Missing Shingles: Replacing a
roof is another costly endeavor, so keep your
eyes out for curling or missing shingles and
exposed nail heads. These all indicate an aging
roof that can cost tens of thousands to replace.

12. Aging HVAC Unit: The average lifespan
of an AC is around 10-12 years. If the home
you’re touring has an old HVAC unit, you will
more than likely be running it longer due to its
inefficiency or soon be replacing it. Both are
costly options."


When we find the home that you like, we will consider everything and review the seller's property disclosure statement and I highly recommend to my clients to obtain a professional home inspection 


Give me a call, our Arizona Homes and Land Group would be pleased to help you find the best home at the best price.


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If you are looking to move to Phoenix including Scottsdale or other areas of Arizona to buy a home in Arizona or sell a home in Arizona, contact Jeffrey Masich, Associate Broker and REALTOR®. I would be pleased to help you and look out for your best interests while finding you the right home at the right price!

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Posted by

Jeffrey Masich, Associate Broker, REALTOR®, MBA, GRI, BS Accounting


Scottsdale, Arizona




Comments (4)

George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Jeff Masich-Scottsdale AZ Associate Broker,MBA,GRI when those things are spotted, a Buyer would be wise to walk away.

Aug 03, 2021 03:52 PM
Jeff Masich-Scottsdale AZ Associate Broker,MBA,GRI
HomeSmart Real Estate - Scottsdale, AZ
Arizona Homes and Land Group/ Buy or Sell

Yes, George Souto  I agree and they are a concern and a buyer should beware, however when some of the 12 items listed like older AC unit, water stains under a sink, locked rooms there is no need to walk away, but a wise buyer and their agent should certainly investigate further. Jeff 😎

Aug 03, 2021 11:22 PM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Jeff - watching for red flags as part of a thorough due diligence plan is a good idea.  Of course, not all red flags are created equal so make sure your priorities(and perspective along with realistic expectations) are in proper order.  

Aug 04, 2021 02:38 AM
Jeff Masich-Scottsdale AZ Associate Broker,MBA,GRI
HomeSmart Real Estate - Scottsdale, AZ
Arizona Homes and Land Group/ Buy or Sell

Roger that Michael Jacobs, good point prioritizing the red flags is a great idea. Jeff

Aug 04, 2021 10:17 AM