Viewing a Home You're Interested in Buying? Here's What to Look Out For

by Cary Garcia 12/31/2018

Shopping for a home is an exciting time for any hopeful homeowner. After weeks of scouring listings looking for the perfect home in the ideal location for you and your family, it can seem like you’ve found the needle in the haystack.

When it’s time to go visit that home, it’s easy to put on rose-colored lenses and overlook issues that should, at the very least, be taken into consideration when it comes to deciding whether or not you should make a bid on the home and how much you should offer.

Today’s post is all about preparing you for that first viewing. We’ll give you tips on what to look out for and how to factor these things into your equation when it comes to making an offer.

Check the listing for omissions

Even if a home looks perfect on paper (or on its website listing), it’s still quite likely that there are things you’ll want to know about before considering an offer. A home listing should attempt to address several questions you might have. But ultimately, it’s main goal is to attract interest in the home.

So, what type of things should be in the listing that the seller might leave out?

  • Poor street conditions, heavy traffic, and blind driveways are all things that will factor into your decision but most likely won’t be mentioned in a listing

  • Odors of any kind can be off-putting and difficult to remove. Some homeowners may not even know that their home has an offensive odor if they’ve become used to it.

  • Room omissions. If the home is listed as having two bathrooms but there are only photos of one, this could be a sign that there are problems with the second bathroom that the seller doesn’t want you to see quite yet.

Top dollar home repairs

A professional home inspection will be able to give you an idea of the kind of money you’ll need to spend on renovations in the coming years. But why wait? When touring a home, ask questions about the last time important renovations and repairs were made.

Roofs, septic systems, and electrical work are just a few of the things that are expensive to repair or replace. If the previous homeowner has a small family or lives alone and you plan on moving in with a houseful of kids, you might find that your impact on the septic and electrical systems of the home are too much for the house to handle. You’ll want to take this into account before considering a bid on the home.

Utility costs

The cost of heating a home in the winter and keeping it cool in the summer can be hefty if the home isn’t properly sealed and weatherproofed. Ask the current homeowner what they spend per month on utilities to get an idea of what you might be spending.

Then, take a look at the windows and doors. Cracks, malfunctioning locks, and worn weatherstripping are all signs that the home will need some work to be energy-efficient.

Don’t ignore the little things

Small fixes may not seem like a big deal when viewing a home. They can even deceive you into thinking that you’re getting a good deal by buying a fixer-upper for a price that’s lower than the market average.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that small fixes around the house are a sign that bigger problems are also being neglected. Don’t be too quick to assume the house will be a good deal before getting it professionally inspected.

About the Author
Author

Cary Garcia

Marymount University - BS Finance

Georgetown University - Master's Real Estate

Associate Broker

Northern Virginia Association of Realtors ® Top Producers Club

  

Finding a real estate agent is easy. Finding a skilled agent is the hardest…What separates me from other real estate agents is my extensive knowledge of contract law and the market data of the region. You need an agent who understands the legality of the contract by enforcing the terms of the offer as well as all of the contingencies, addendums and disclosures. Before signing the offer, I will thoroughly explain the contract in detail, so you understand what you are committing to.I bring an expert’s perspective to help buyers and sellers make the right decisions. Because I understand the legal and highly emotional aspects associated with real estate transactions, I am able to provide expert guidance to help you make informed and educated decisions. In addition, I’m very skilled at project coordination. With so many people involved in the home sale process, I know how to create satisfying resolutions and make the process go as smoothly and successfully as possible.

My real estate business has the “clients for life” philosophy where I strive to excel in every aspect of my business, continually reinventing myself as I find better ways to achieve my clients’ goals. I’m constantly learning and reviewing my business, systems and processes, and asking myself: How can I improve my level of service to my clients?

My expertise encompasses all housing types, including co-ops, condos, single-family homes and multi-unit buildings. I welcome first time homebuyers, owners wishing to sell their homes, trade up or acquire income-producing properties. In addition, I warmly invite those interested in relocating to Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. 

With an in-depth view of the market, I know where to locate the properties that compliment your wish list and lifestyle. Moreover, when it’s time to sell, my innovative appraisal approach will help to appropriately price your property for maximum financial return. I focus on marketing that is effective – that is why I relentlessly track what works and what does not.

I recognize the common thread in each and every real estate transaction is a client with similar needs: exceptional customer service, an agent who understands the contract, neighborhood expertise and professional guidance throughout the process. I embrace all of these needs and work diligently to cater to them on every level of my business. I know Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. areas very well and know what it takes to earn a stellar reputation for giving clients’ what they ultimately want. I take this responsibility seriously and work tirelessly to ensure you receive all the information you need to make sound decisions that will affect your future. So when you’re ready to buy or sell property in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C., set your sights high and give me a call. 

My expertise, dedication and perseverance will ensure your next move a complete success. I will help you achieve it.

TESTIMONIALS

Cary was fantastic in all respects. We will definitely recommend him to others. He went way above and beyond what was necessary in our first home buying experience.

– Barry Kennedy and Amy Kennedy

If it wasn’t for Cary’s hard work, we would not have the house we are now living in. … He was always patient, kind and informative. We knew that he was always on our side and trusted his judgment. He worked so tirelessly for us, without reservation. I highly recommend him to anyone looking for a house in the Washington area.

– Daniel and Christine Mullins

Cary was very professional from the very beginning. He kept us informed throughout the whole entire selling process. Eventually…he helped us buy our next home. We will recommend him highly.

– Dr. Deborah Jones & Dr. Gregory Miller

For the past six years we have had a business relationship with Mr. Cary Garcia. He was our realtor during the purchase and sale of our home. … No detail was too small and nothing was overlooked. … I would recommend Cary Garcia to anyone looking for a hard working and trustworthy professional.

– Marc and Mona Lisa Gittleman