20 Things That Could Kill a Real Estate Sale

There are quite a few things that could kill a real estate deal from the inspection report to financing issues, but if you’re trying to sell a home or you’re looking to buy, these are probably the top 20 things that will kill the deal. If you are a homeowner, you better get these things corrected before listing your property and if you’re a buyer, these are definitely red flags that you should be aware of.

#1. Major electrical issues.

Big electrical items like overloaded panels, unsafe and outdated knob and tube wiring or unprotected wires are all big red flags. If your listing your property have these items taken care of first and if you’re buying, make sure the inspection report emphasizes the danger.

#2. Foundational cracks.

Holes and cracks in the foundation can let moisture seep into basements and ground levels. Simply covering them up usually doesn’t solve the problem. You may need to get a hydraulic cement or report foundation which can be extremely costly. Talk to your inspector about the dangers of foundational cracks and if they are something to be concerned about.

#3. Holes in the roof.

Obviously, you want the roof to be well-maintained but tiny holes in shingles and composite roofs can cause rot and other damage for years before it really causes a problem inside the house. It is imperative to check the roof extensively before listing or if you’re buying the property.

#4. Mold.

Mold will definitely be a cause of concern for any buyer and if you are the homeowner, you’ll need to take care of this before listing the property.

#5. Deteriorating chimney.

The chimney usually gets neglected during the home sale but your inspector should check for any disrepair, crumbling, or missing flashings and items that are not sealed.

#6. Unsafe decks.

If a deck has been improperly built or does not have a permit and seems to be unsteady, it could be an expensive repair or a major hazard if not corrected.

#7. Galvanized water distribution pipes.

This is the water supply that brings water from the street to the house. Take a look at the water piping and if it’s galvanized. Copper and plastic are good news but led and galvanized are not.

#8. Back drafting.

If your furnace or water heater is back drafting carbon monoxide into your home it can be not only dangerous but deadly. Make sure you install a CO detector in the house.

#9. Buried oil tanks.

Buried oil tanks in the yard or in the basement are not easy to spot but they can be a huge environmental disaster waiting to happen. Your home inspector should be able to tell if there’s an old fuel tank on the property but it could be a dealbreaker for buyers.

#10. Radon.

Radon is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and the second leading cause of cancer in America. It’s important to do a radon testing with your home inspector and if you need a radon mitigation system, it can be extremely expensive.

#11. Asbestos.

Most of the newer homes do not have asbestos but older homes will contain some sort of lead paint or asbestos. As long as you don’t move it it’s fine but if you need to do a major remodel, you will want to check into that.

More: What’s the difference between a renovation and remodel?

#12. Water damage around windows.

If water is getting into the house around a window it can cause mold and mildew which can cause even more problems later on.

#13. Buldge in washing machine hoses.

If you see a bulge in a water hose it means it’s going to burst. This is extremely dangerous and can cause major flooding in your home.

#14. Jerryrigged projects.

Be wary of anything that looks like it’s been jerry-rigged or improperly installed. If you’re questioning the project, ask your inspector about the legitimacy and safety of whatever project you’re questioning.

#15. Missing events.

All homes need to vet so if you have bathrooms with no vents, a kitchen vent that’s not properly installed or missing altogether, it could cause major moisture and problems inside the house.

#16. Efflorescence on chimneys.

If you the brick on the chimney is getting this white film it means there’s too much moisture inside the chimney. Heavy efflorescence on your chimney could mean cracking of the bricks when that water freezes.

#17. Kitchen hood vented into a chimney.

This goes back to the Jerry rigging projects and if you see on vents and vent pipes that are either venting back into the house or into a chimney, it could cause a major problem. Grease from the vent could go into the chimney causing a chimney fire.

#18. Uncovered cables.

Cables should never exit the electrical conduit without protection from sharp edges. Little movements could cause the plastic to wear away resulting in a short or a fire.

#19. Faulty TPR valve.

A TPR valve which is your temperature pressure relief valve on your hot water heater should be installed properly and allowed to drip when necessary. Your inspector will be able to tell if this is done correctly.

#20. Missing foundation or siding.

If you notice that the studs have rotted away, the siding is peeling allowing for moisture underneath, or stucco is the only thing supporting the walls, it’s best to run in the opposite direction.

Being in the real estate business for decades I’ve seen just about all of these at some point or another. Having a reputable and experienced real estate agent helping you buy and sell property can help address these items upfront rather than be surprised later on. For more information on buying or selling a home in Snohomish or King County Washington call my office today. 206-909-1552

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