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How to Spot Red Flags in a Real Estate Ad


22 June 2016

Have you ever had the experience where you found the perfect home listing, then show up for a walk through to realize that it looks nothing like it was advertised? We find this very unethical! Listing agents tend to use flattering adjectives to hide the home’s flaws.

Here are a few things to look for in a real estate ad that immediately raises a red flag.

No photos

Including photos in the listing should be a no-brainer, but sellers routinely list properties without pictures, and usually there is a good reason – the home’s visual appeal is not up to par. Many buyers prefer an abundance of photo’s in order to get their first impression before contacting the seller.

Needs TLC

Uh oh, this typically means the house needs major work. It could be anything from new plumbing, wiring, and/or roof. If you don’t have the additional budget for these repairs it’s best to stay away from these types of home listings.

Agent tip: Ask the listing agent what renovations need to be done.


Price to good to be true

We’re sorry to say it, but it’s likely that it is. A low price sounds like a great way to attract buyers, but if you go too low, there’s a chance your strategy can backfire. When a seller’s agent suggests such a strategy, the homeowner should be on guard. There’s also the possibility that a low price will attract unqualified buyers looking to snatch up a bargain. If that happens, the house won’t sell at all, and the seller will have devalued the property with a low listing price.

Transaction history shortage

A distressed property listing without transaction details is a major red flag. Furthermore, if a property is listed as a short sale, but doesn’t explain whether or not the lender has been informed and approved of the prices – approach with caution. If you’re looking for a short sale, find a seller who’s able to be upfront about the deal.


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