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April 24, 2021

Homebuyers need to be on the alert for bogus claims

Most homebuyers shopping in a choppy market are taking their time. But, if you're in the minority of people who have a deadline - because of an impending birth or a new job - this environment offers both opportunities and challenges.

Some people who move too quickly are motivated by timing pressures related to relocation, while others worry they'll be living with their parents because they've sold their home a bit faster than expected.

But the bigger issue is often with stressed sellers who are simply too anxious to get out in a hurry.

When a homeowner is desperate to sell and a buyer is ready to fork over the cash, the truth about a house is often swept under the rug, experts suggest.

As a result, novice homebuyers need to watch out for those little fibs when house shopping, says real estate expert Barbara Corcoran.

For instance, some 'motivated' sellers will tend to forget about items like:

  1. Personality of neighbors and the neighborhood.
  2. Status of home repairs, particularly the roof.
  3. Insect and rodent infestations.
  4. Elevated radon levels.
  5. Legal trouble, like unpaid taxes, liens, and outstanding judgements.
  6. Excessive airplane noise overhead.
  7. Trouble with the building department due to un-permitted renovations and additions.
  8. Water damage and frequent basement flooding.
  9. Quality of local schools and institutions.
  10. Possibility of future disruptive construction in the area.

To protect yourself, stay in the driver’s seat and question everything. You're under no obligation to please the seller; don’t cave even if they act like they're disappointed or claim they never noticed any of these items.

Did you get a nasty surprise after you bought your home? Was the issue resolved?

By Gordon Powers, MSN, Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...