Every homebuyer in the market is looking for a good deal - the house that ticks all your boxes while still coming in under budget. However, there is a difference between a good deal and one that's too good to be true. If you find a deal that seems unrealistically wonderful, it is always good to do some more research before signing a contract. Here are four things to look for when a NJ real estate deal seems too good to be true.
1. The seller or agent is acting strangely.
If your or your agent's interactions with the buyer and/or their agent seem suspect, that is a significant cause for concern. When the other party is pressuring you, withholding information, or refusing to explain gaps or mistakes in paperwork, you should take a step back and assess the situation. Another red flag is if the seller or agent pressures you to skip the inspection. If they offer incentives to skip an inspection, there is good reason to believe the property has major issues.
2. The list price is way too low.
In some circumstances, a motivated seller might be inclined to list a great property for cheap. Still, the vast majority of the time, a super-low list price is cause for scrutiny. Real estate prices reflect value more often than not. A low price typically indicates issues with the property that go beyond surface-level flaws. A faulty foundation or a leaking roof could significantly decrease the value of a property. You should also look to the neighborhood around the property for an explanation for the low price. The seller may be motivated to sell to escape an undesirable location. An experienced inspector can help you determine the cost of repairs so you can gauge whether or not the investment is worth it.
3. A lot of quick, cosmetic fixes have been done.
Fresh paint is excellent—but not if it covers water damage or mold. Many cosmetic fixes that don't necessarily add value to the property may have been done to put a pretty face on a property with significant problems. Besides water damage, you should look for issues with the foundation, an aging roof, and an interior that doesn't match the exterior. A brand-new interior but a lackluster exterior could indicate a quick flip. An inspector can help you determine whether repairs are needed below the surface.
4. Your agent has concerns.
This is a big one! Real estate agents see all kinds of properties. If they aren't getting a good feeling about a property, there is probably a good reason. If you have invested your trust in an experienced real estate agent and they have concerns, that is a good sign to slow down and do some more digging.
There are a lot of great real estate deals to be found in almost any market. Just make sure you are doing your due diligence before finding yourself with a dud. The best way to ensure you know as much as possible about a property before you purchase is to work with an experienced agent and a NJ inspector who comes highly recommended. They are the two top experts who can help you make the best investment.