How to Tour a Home Like a Redfin Agent

As home buyers preview homes its easy to focus on the emotional and functional aspects of the home.

Home buyers think…

  • Will this work for the family?
  • Can I convert this room in to an office?
  • If I tear down that wall will this room be more functional?

Redfin agents think…

  • What might the home buyers be overlooking?
  • What could be a deal killer during the home inspection?
  • Are there any signs this home could be in worse condition by the time we close?

Redfin agents wander the home wondering, “if we get the home under contract, is there something here that might give the home buyers a reason to cancel the contract?” If there is something that could be a deal killer, lets talk about it now before we spend a week negotiating and before we spend time and money on a home inspection.

We can’t always tell you what’s wrong with the home, but we can bring some of the potential deal killers to your attention before you get invested in the offer writing process. Who knows, some of the issues might be grounds for leverage during the price negotiation.

Here is an overview of what we keep an eye out for:

  • Road noise
  • Powerlines
  • Lack of homeowner maintenance
  • Water stains
  • General age/condition of water heater and AC units
  • Settling issues
  • Pool and pool equipment condition
  • Those really bad weekend DYI projects… you know what I’m talking about…
  • Roof condition (if visible)
  • Critters… scorpions and other insects

Some items are obvious and some are harder to understand. Sometimes one observation will be enough to justify walking away from the home, other times it takes 3-4 concerning observations before we decide to scratch the idea of writing an offer.

Here are the top 5  ”instant deal killers”

  1. Scorpions
  2. Road noise
  3. Powerlines
  4. Excessive water stains on the ceiling
  5. Extensive roof repair needed

Here are the top 5 items that when combined with other issues make home owners nervous enough to walk away

  1. Signs of previous owner vandalism
  2. Really old AC units
  3. Fuzzy black stuff called mold
  4. Unexplainable water staining on the walls
  5. Unidentifiable (knock you over) odors

Should you walk away if you come across these top 10 deal killers? Read the post and find out.

What’s on your list of reasons to walk away from a home?

Author of this Post

If you have questions or comments just leave them below or get in touch.

Marcus Fleming

marcus.fleming@redfin.com
Serving East Valley, Cave Creek and Scottsdale
Homes Closed: 70+
  • Artur

    Then enter investors who usually smile at these things and see opportunity to take care of these issues, prepare in a way to match the market's needs and put it back for sale at a profit. This does not always work so cleanly as it sounds.

  • Justdoit

    Nice article Marcus……you'll be surprise how many people will walk away from easy fixes.  If you have your support resouces (small contractors) in place, some of these homes can be easy profits margins for investors or short timers, if the home is structurally sound.  That said, you can't fix power lines and some types of road noise at reasonable prices because these most often involve major entities.  Sometimes, these fixes come at a hefty price when they require undergrounding and sound barrier walls.  Right now, there are a lot of support resources looking for work at competitive prices.

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