Most Common Secrets Sellers Hide

You have finally found the home you want to buy, but beware before signing your name. Sellers can often mislead buyers by not disclosing the serious problems that may inhabit the house. If you fail to notice these issues until after the closing, you are in trouble. Here are a few of the problems sellers most commonly try to hide, and the questions that will expose the truth.


Pipes, faucets, radiators, ceilings, roofs, whatever, real estate agents, brokers, and sellers could try to pull a fast one and quick (and cheap) fix that drip to attract offers. The only thing that will 100% work is honesty and admitting faults can benefit the seller. Leaks are never a major problem, and as long as they are honest about it, they can be fixed quickly.


To love a house is to know what’s behind the walls. Any house that looks amazing on the outside could still hold termites eating away at the walls. It’s important to know that pest laws vary from state to state. If you think there could be pests invading or living in your new home, don’t risk it and just get a pest inspection.

Emotional defects

This one comes down to the state law, some states allow for sellers to leave out if a house is “haunted” or if a death, or murder happened in their house. This may not be a deal breaker for some, but for others, they can’t sleep at night knowing someone has died in the other room. As the new home owner you also have the right to know. If the state you live in keeps sellers from telling you, can give you a heads up.

Issues with the roof or foundation

Knowing if a house has major issues with the foundation or roof can really kill the deal quickly. These repairs are always costly (upwards of around $10,000) and should always be disclosed. Sometimes though, they are left unchecked. If you suspect there is an issue, you can always ask to cut away a tiny piece of sheet rock to check.

Age of the systems

It’s not uncommon for sellers to try to hide the age of their home systems, like water heaters and HVAC systems. They have two powerful words that will deter you, “don’t know”. Inspectors will find out no problem, so when the sellers don’t know, ask the inspector. Before you get into the inspection part, you will want to know how truthful the seller is. If their disclosure is listed with a bunch of “unknown” statuses, they are either uninvolved, or lying.

Before you sign your name, you should talk to the neighbors and ask them three questions: why are the neighbors moving? Have you seen any repair trucks here lately? Does the neighborhood have any known construction problems? It’s also in your power to get a CLUE report, which is a “comprehensive loss underwriting exchange”. It’s a claims information report from your homeowner’s insurance agent. Be diligent in your questions, and don’t stop until you get answers. You should know as much as you can about the house before you buy it, know as much as the people currently living in it.

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