Picture this: You’re working with a wonderful buyer’s agent from Deerwood Realty and walking up to the first house on your list. You’ve never bought a house before so you aren’t really sure what to make of the experience.
As you walk through the home you’re happy about the color of the walls, the floor looks to be in decent shape, and there’s nothing that offends you.
Your real estate agent doesn’t say much when walking through the house. When you get done, you ask your agent what they think. “I think it’s overpriced based on what is available in the market,” your agent says. How can it be that you are not on the same page about this house? Surprisingly, it comes down to what each of you are looking at.
How To Look At A Home In St. Louis
While you are busy looking at wall colors and flooring, a good real estate agent is looking at much different things.
Looking At The Outside
- The roof How old is it? Does it show any signs of wear or leaks? Is there moss or mold growing on the shingles?
- The gutters Are the gutters clogged? Is there staining of the fascia or soffit?
- The yard Is the yard cut? Is it being maintained? Are there holes being covered by anything?
- The siding If there is wood siding, does it need repair?
Looking At The Inside
- The ceiling Are there any cracks or water stains?
- The kitchen Has the kitchen been remodeled? When?
- The furnace How old is the furnace?
- The water heater How old is the water heater?
- The electric box How old is the electric box? Is there rust? Does the box use circuit breakers or fuses?
- The basement Does it leak? Does it smell musty?
- The overall quality of the workmanship If it is a remodeled bathroom and the finish is poor, it’s not going to have as much value as a bathroom that is old but has good finishes. This is true throughout the home. It’s one thing to remodel, it’s completely another to do it right.
Things That Aren’t In The Home To Look At
Real estate agents are good at selecting pictures for their listing. A good real estate agent is going to pick up on the things that aren’t in the house. Here are a few things that you might never notice but your agent should.
- The refrigerator So, ever go to a house where there is a new kitchen and there’s not a new refrigerator? Why do you think that is? It’s probably because refrigerators are huge. If you imagine the refrigerator in the kitchen, how big is the kitchen afterwards?
- The washer and dryer House missing a washer and dryer? That’s ok, but where would they go if they were there? Is the dryer going to be electric or gas? Has the line been run? Where is the drain for the washing machine? I’ve seen house after house that has the washing machine in one corner and the dryer in another. It’s not very efficient, and you probably wouldn’t even notice during an initial showing.
It’s easier when you know what to look at during a showing
Now that you know what your real estate agent is looking at, maybe you should start taking note of these items too? This is the essence of how homes get sold with the prices they get. It’s why one house next door to another sells for a different price even when the home styles are the same. As you look at homes for sale, try to look at these things and not be swayed by a pretty room color or art hanging from the wall. Over time, you’ll be able to tell your real estate agent why a house isn’t worth the price the sellers are asking before they even get a chance to tell you.