Realty Executives

6 Red Flags to Watch for at an Open House

by Susan Christy 02/18/2019

Open houses can be a great way to get to know a home and the neighborhood it sits in. Sure, the seller will be trying to put their best foot forward on the big day. But, you’ll still be able to get a chance to tour the home relatively uninterrupted.

But what should you look for in particular when attending an open house?

There are a number of things you can learn at an open house. Many prospective buyers spend the time looking at things like paint color and cosmetic touches that can easily be changed, and very little time considering important factors that should go into their home buying decision.

So, in today’s post, I’m going to cover some of the lesser known things you should be looking out for when you attend an open house. That way, you’ll know which houses are worth considering further and which ones should be left behind.

Not enough storage space

If you find yourself constantly running out of storage space (and who doesn’t?), you’ll want to make sure the home has ample space to store your belongings. If it doesn’t, see if you can find ways to repurpose areas for storage, such as spare bedrooms or garage space.

Overly scented areas

It’s perfectly normal for a seller’s agent to place one or two choice candles in the home during an open house.

However, if you notice some rooms have an overpowering smell of candles or air fresheners, there’s a good chance it’s there to mask offensive and hard to remove smells. Pet and cigarette odors are among the worst culprits.

The windows, doors, and cabinets should work like a dream

When attending an open house, take note of how well the doors open and close. If appropriate, ask the seller’s agent if you can try out the windows and cabinets as well.

Problems with these items can be signs of poor craftsmanship, cheap materials, or neglect.

Traffic and neighbors

If you’ve found what you think is the perfect home, it can be easy to see the world through rose-colored lenses.

However, it’s important to take them off when looking around the yard. Take note of the traffic level, and the amount of privacy the home receives. If you like the home, it’s also a good idea to stop by the neighborhood during rush house to gauge how traffic would affect your commute.

Air flow issues

Improper ventilation can lead to mold growth, especially in bathrooms and kitchens. Make sure bathroom vents and fans work properly, and check windows for condensation.

In rooms with sinks, check around the base of the sink and counter for signs of water damage or mold.

Large cracks in foundations or ceilings

While small, hairline cracks in the foundation of a home are completely normal, large ones can be dangerous.

They can allow water and pests to enter the home, causing all types of costly damages.


Keep those six tips in mind when you attend the open house, and be sure to bring a list of any other questions you might have for the seller’s agent.

About the Author
Author

Susan Christy

Hello, and thank you for visiting!

When it comes to real estate experience, few compare to Susan Christy. As a full-time Realtor for over 30 years, Susan has been successfully selling and finding homes for her clients since 1987, and her in-depth knowledge of the real estate process is hard to match. There are few challenges Susan hasn’t experienced and successfully resolved. She has not only the expertise to seamlessly close a real estate transaction, but the personal skills to instill a comfortable confidence, putting her clients at ease. She carefully listens, puts a plan in place, and follows through to the close of escrow and beyond. Susan is the real estate professional with the tact and skill to negotiate the highest return for her sellers and best possible price for her buyers: the true professional you want on your side.  

Susan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Education from Arizona State University and taught special education for four years prior to beginning her real estate career in 1987. She was raised in the Arcadia area of East Phoenix, where she has also raised her two daughters. Susan has been affiliated with Realty Executives for over 20 years, among the most highly respected real estate brokerages in Arizona, and has garnered many honors for superior sales performance, including the Phoenix Association of Realtors President’s Roundtable, Realty Executives 100% Club and Executive Club awards and the Realtor.com Online Marketing Award of Excellence. In addition, her superior performance has earned her membership in the Top Agent Network (TAN), as well as the CLHMS (Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist) and National Association of Realtors BPOR (Broker Price Opinion Resource) designations. She maintains active membership in the Luxury Home Tour Inc. of Arizona and the Arcadia Camelback Tour.  

Specializing in Phoenix, Arcadia, Scottsdale, and Paradise Valley, but experienced and able to assist with real estate needs in nearly all areas of the Valley, her goal is to provide superior service second to none. Her clients can expect expert representation, communication, and negotiation skills from contract to close, intensive attention to detail throughout all phases of the real estate transaction, and above all, integrity and professionalism. She is: Client Focused. Results Driven. Please feel free to contact Susan at any time to discuss how she can best assist you with your real estate needs.