10 Tricks Sellers Do to Pass Home Inspections
In a perfect world, the seller will tell you everything about the house, including its bad sides. But this is not always the case. Sellers often use sneaky tricks to pass home inspections. As such, it is important to be watchful of red flags and learn how to outsmart each one. Learn the tricks below and buy a quality house!
1. Using decor to hide problem areas
Sneaky sellers place artwork, shelves, or furniture to block problem areas. Sometimes, moving boxes get the same job done. If you see any out of place furniture or decor, do not hesitate to ask the seller to move it out so you can see everything clearly.
2. Disguising problems with a new carpet.
Carpets are useful. They can tell you whether there were pets in the house, a sewage backup ever occurred, or the house has mold problems. A new carpet can be a sign that the seller is trying to hide something.
3. Going on a home improvement spree.
Ask the seller about all recent renovations and give your home inspector a head’s up. Sometimes, these improvements are done to camouflage issues.
4. Painting over problem areas
Fresh paint can cover mold, stains, and more. Often, it is not just to freshen up the walls. Take note of all areas with new paint and point them out to your home inspector. You can also ask the seller for before-and-after photos.
5. Choosing to be ignorant about potential problems.
By law, a seller is not liable for problems that he or she did not know about. This is one way they go around problems. They willingly avoid mold or radon tests or skip reading the home inspection results.
6. Not sharing issues created by former occupants
This is truer for rental homes. Before a flip, the house could have been in terrible shape. Do not just ask the seller about the previous life of the house you are interested in. Ask the neighbors, too.
8. Downplaying any raised concerns.
A seller often minimizes issues because he or she does not want to admit that maintenance or repairs have been neglected. Be on the lookout for spotty maintenance then: old air filters, broken appliances, crumbling masonry, and so on.
9. Restricting access
You must be able to see every part of the house. If a seller refuses access to the attic, circuit breakers, crawl spaces, or sump pumps, think twice about doing business with this person.
10. Playing dumb.
If you ask a question and the seller answers “I don’t know’, be suspicious. Maybe he or she simply does not want to tell you the truth about when the roof has been replaced or any other problems the house has.