4 things to look out for at your next open home

By Cindy Cash

Attending an open home can be intimidating for anyone, regardless of whether you’re the buyer or the seller.

It certainly appears to be a good time to be looking at homes for sale, as figures from CoreLogic RP Data show that the supply of new listings has increased.

“A slowdown in housing market conditions, particularly in hotspot areas like Sydney where growth rates have been extreme and affordability is challenging, will be a welcome development for prospective buyers,” said CoreLogic RP Data Head of Research Tim Lawless.

Here are a few things you should keep an eye out for when examining your next property for sale:

This little tool can be invaluable for your inspection.

1. Ensure the ceilings are all perfectly straight

Scrutinise the ceilings to ensure that they are all firmly fixed in place and don’t have an appearance of a parachute. A torch can come in handy here, as it will reveal any defects or deflections if you shine it across the ceiling.

Sagging ceilings are relatively common in older homes, and can indicate dampness or a potential collapse in the near future.

2. Check for evidence of mould

Mould can denote serious issues in a home. The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science (DIIS) asserts that most often it can be found in bathrooms, window sills, cupboards and damp areas with poor ventilation.

It usually resembles dirty clouds on the walls and ceilings, especially if the seller has attempted to clean it. It can be quite costly to get it properly removed by a professional, but you should also be wary as to why it was there in the first place.

3. Look out for cracks

Any cracks within internal and external walls in the property for sale are great reasons for concern. Not only does it compromise the structure, but it could also make it more difficult to live in.

According to the DIIS, air leakage accounts for around 25 per cent of heat loss, meaning the building will be harder to cool in the summer and more difficult to warm in the winter.

4. Test the water

Often, water that takes a while to heat up can indicate a leak somewhere in the home or a problem with the hot-water cylinder.  Try out all the tap and shower fittings, as it will allow you to see how long it takes for the hot water to come through. Nobody likes waiting for the shower to heat up!

We strongly suggest using the services of a professional to provide a detailed report on the piece of real estate – at the very least, for peace of mind.

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