On the surface, the house looks great—fresh paint, new appliances in the kitchen, new carpet throughout and maybe an updated bath. The colors are modern and appealing and the home has been staged to perfection. That’s the goal of a flipped home—to make you feel like you could move right in without being bogged down with repairs and updates.
But, buyer beware. While some home flippers are good, others are unregulated professionals who buy homes that are undervalued due to poor condition. They move fast to get the home back on the market quickly to minimize their holding costs. They seldom take time or spend the money to address high-cost items, like plumbing, foundations and electrical replacement.
How do you know whether the home is a flipper-upper? Bankrate.com suggests getting as much information as you can about the home’s history, such as:
- Has the home sold within the last six months or so and for a much lower price than the current asking price?
- Is the home owned by a non-occupying seller?
- Has the seller owned other homes for short periods before reselling them?
- Are the updates largely cosmetic? New sink, old pipes?
- Were permits obtained where necessary?
- Is a detailed seller’s disclosure, recent home inspection and list of improvements available?
Your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network professional can help you get vital information about the home so you can look past the dazzle of new décor and evaluate this home fairly, compared to other properties in your price range.