Top Ten Red Flags Conditions to look for while showing a house. For Real Estate Professionals
What are you looking at when showing a home? Are you looking for potential problems?
All homes have issues, even new ones. Every issue has a solution. Solutions vary from a simple fix to the need to possibly adjusting the offer price.
Course Objective Provide a basic understanding of some items to look for while showing a home that could impact IFor HOWan offer is written. These items are only the most common issues. It is not a complete list of every possible major defect. Knowledge of these items does not replace a full home inspection.
Site Drainage Ponding water around a foundation can cause a loss of support and settlement. Poor site drainage can also cause enough water to pond against the house that moisture can get through the façade. This can result in wood rot and mold issuesin the home.
Site Drainage These problems are mostly avoidable just by having the correct grading. The site grading should always slope away from the foundation for at least 5 feet.
Site Drainage Proper site drainage plan
Site Drainage Gutter downspouts should always direct the water at least 5 feet away from the foundation or into a site drainage system.
Grading Problems High grading around the foundation is one of the most common issues identified on inspection reports.
Grading Problems The proper minimum clearance between the facade and the soil should be 4-6 inches.
Grading Problems High grades are most commonly found in planter areas. Homeowners often place new mulch in planters without removing the old, creating the high grade condition.
Grading Problems Siding, stucco, and stone/brick veneers are not waterproof, so water penetrates the exterior walls. High grading can obstruct the weep holes that allow the moisture to escape. If the drainage is blocked, the moisture gets trapped in the wall promoting wood rot and mold to grow.
Grading Problems On the opposite end of the spectrum, look for undermining of the foundations. Left unchecked, this issue can cause significant foundation damage.
Drywall Cracks Homes are like every other material, they expand and contract with temperature. This movement causes minor cracking in the drywall surfaces, but the key is where the cracks are located.
Drywall Cracks Minor drywall cracks at the intersections of walls and ceilings are normal. These flaws can be repaired easily and do not cause any concern.
Drywall Cracks Diagonal cracks from the corner of doors or windows are often a sign of foundation movement. These types of cracks require professional evaluation and repair recommendations.
Foundation Cracks Are all concrete foundation cracks a serious problem? No, many types of concrete cracking are perfectly normal.
Foundation Cracks • Here are some concrete rules of thumb: • Concrete always does two things; it gets hard and it cracks. • Seeing cracks in the concrete foundation does not mean serious problems exist. • Most concrete foundation issues can be repaired, but understanding the nature of the problem is key.
Foundation Cracks Corner cracks are extremely common and are not a concern unless the piece falls off or is removed. Even then it is a minor problem and only requires patching.
Foundation Cracks Exposed and rusting reinforcing steel presents a concern, but only requires the steel to be coated with rust-inhibiting paint and the concrete patched to prevent further damage.
Foundation Cracks This is a hairline crack. It is most likely caused by shrinkage during the concrete curing and does not present any concern. This crack is approx. 1/8 in This may indicate shrinkage or movement. This crack should be sealed and monitored. This crack is approx. 1/4 in. This crack is most likely due to movement. A structural engineer should be consulted.
Roof Condition Replacing or repairing a roof can be a significant expense for a new homeowner, therefore the current roof condition should be a consideration when making an offer.
Roof Condition New 0-5 Years Little to No Granular Loss No Cupping/Curling Straight Edges Medium Wear 5-15 Years Mild to Moderate Granular Loss Some Curling/Cupping Heavy Wear 15+ Years Excessive Granular Loss Excessive Curling/Cupping Deformed Edges
Roof Condition Excessive granular loss is a key indicator of the roof condition The south facing side always displays the most wear.
Roof Condition Vegetation in contact with the roof accelerates wear and can cause leaks.
Roof Condition Obvious roof repairs indicate previous problems and leaks.
Roof Condition Roof Insurability
Roof Leaks Roof leaks happen, but they are hard to spot and even more difficult to find and repair. A small leak left unrepaired can cause significant damage to the structure, drywall, and finishes.
Roof Leaks Water stains on ceilings are the best indicator of a roof leak.
Roof Leaks Variations or deformations in the ceiling texture are indicators of a previous patch and/or roof leak.
Roof Leaks Freshly painted ceiling(s) in a single room or a few rooms can be an effort to conceal previous roof leaks.
Mold Mold will grow anywhere where there is excessive moisture is present. Mold eats the paper and wood products in a home.
Mold Small amounts of mold and mildew around showers, tubs, and sinks are normal. These do NOT present a problem or concern.
Mold Small amounts of mold on window sills is most likely caused by condensation and usually not a concern.
Mold Mold found on walls or ceilings outside of kitchens or bathrooms does signal problem. It strongly indicates a roof or plumbing leak.
Mold Any amount of mold to the sides or below a window or door is a strong indication of a leak. This situation is definitely a major problem.