When you’re on the hunt for a property, there’s a few red flags to be mindful of to avoid ending up with a property lemon!
Length of time on the market
Although this may seem obvious, checking how long the property has been on the market for (including whether it was previously listed with other agencies) can help you avoid a property which has been left on the shelf (perhaps for good reason!).
Difficulty in gaining an inspection
If you’re finding it near-impossible to get through the property, the alarm bells should be ringing, as this may be indicating issues behind the scenes.
Dodgy build quality
Although some defects will stick out like a sore thumb, it’s always wise to arrange a trustworthy building and pest inspector to check out the property and find any hidden issues. This will help you avoid any unexpected surprises or use as a negotiating tool when it comes to talking price.
Vacant block or development next door
Do your homework and check with the local council as to what is proposed for the neighbouring property. It could be a costly mistake when your once quiet property becomes overlooked by a massive high rise or commercial building.
If the owner hasn’t bothered to properly clean or present the property, this can allude to further maintenance issues being overlooked. If the property has been freshly painted, yet the gutters are full of leaves, perhaps be extra vigilant in your inspection in assessing its suitability.
The smell of dampness can be quite easily masked with candles and scents, so look for other signs and don’t just rely off your nose.
No internal pics
If there’s no internal photos of the property being shown in the ads, this could mean difficult tenants/access or the inside is so poorly presented in would deter buyers. Not that this means you shouldn’t be interested, but it might be worth a quick call to the agent to find out the facts before you inspect.
Make sure you check the basic terms of the contract to see if they suit your situation before you’ve committed to the property.
Non-compliant building work
Check with the local council to ensure all additions or work to the property is council-approved with occupancy certification.
Lack of light
If it’s a nice sunny day, but all the lights are still on inside, this may indicate poor aspect or location of the property.