The Checklist That Will Save You From Headaches

I can’t tell you how many times a real estate contract for a single-family home or condo is delayed or even cancelled because of the most ridiculous and obvious reasons. This blog post is solely to educate you on what you should look for on your next property hunt – hopefully it’s with me smile emoticon. By the way, for all you property owners that might be looking to sell, take notes because this will improve the sell or rental of your property.

When you look at a property that you’re thinking of purchasing or renting, go through the following checklist and make sure to jot down what you see (I also recommend taking photos and/or a video):

1. Walk through the house or condo and scan the baseboard, door frames and the crown moldings carefully. Although you might look like you’re trying to see through the walls, you’re actually looking for traces of termite damage or infestation. Sometimes termites leave termite pellets which look like small dark crumbs. This is obviously a problem because it’s gross and damaging to your future property. You should also take note of any wood damage or chipping as this may also be caused by termites. Below is a picture of signs of termite infestation

.Evidence of termites

2. Make sure there are no leaks from faucets or toilets. To check for leaks in bathroom faucets, lift the pop up drain stopper and let the water run so it fills the sink. Next, open up the cabinets below the faucet. Third step: press down the pop up and look at the faucet’s pipes to see if any traces of water are leaking. When it comes to the toilet, just flush it a few times to make sure the pump is strong and that no water leaks from the sides. While you’re at it, turn on the shower as well  to check that it’s working fine.

3. If you plan on cooking then I would recommend turning on the stove top and oven. Carefully verify that the cook top and oven are working properly (DON’T FORGET TO TURN OFF ALL KNOBS).

4. Other Leaks: There are situations where in a condo, a neighbor’s bathroom has a leak, which causes the water to leak further down to the ceiling of your apartment. Look for water stains around the ceiling of your apartment and keep your eyes peeled for mold (which is surprisingly very dangerous).

5. If you live in South Florida chances are your A/C is on more than anything else…or is it? Sometimes your air conditioning may be on, but only the fan is blowing (which is clearly not what you want). Turn on the A/C in the unit and place your hand over a vent and pay attention if you just feel air or cold air (if it’s cold air then you’re good to go). I highly suggest checking all the vents in the unit to make sure there is no blockage. Important for all landlords: If you plan on listing your home for any period of time, leave your A/C on. I always urge my clients to allow me to leave the air conditioning on – otherwise, they can expect mold to grow.

Now, this list is not final. There are obviously more things to look through in an apartment or house, like broken locks, missing light bulbs, other insect infestations and more. However, from experience, the few issues that tenants might overlook are the ones listed above. 99% of the time a landlord will take care of the above issues. Just in case, I urge you to take notes as you walk-through a unit so you can state it on the offer/contract. I personally write the notes down for my client since I’m the one negotiating on their behalf. Working with a real estate agent that has your best interest in mind and not just the commission is invaluable. If you want to have peace of mind on your next apartment hunt or you’re thinking of selling, send me an email to Don’t forget to “like” my fan page to keep yourself up to date with new posts.