5 Problems Home Sellers Try To Hide

Old brick basement with peeling paint

If you’re a home buyer, you want to make sure your dream home won’t suddenly reveal any expensive surprises after you finalize the sale. Hopefully, all home sellers that you interact with will be honest. We hope they would let you know upfront if there are any issues with the home. However, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, there are significant problems home sellers hide, or at least try to mask, under a fresh coat of paint or other “quick fixes.”

Because of this, we’ve compiled a list of 5 problems home sellers try to hide from buyers so you can keep an eye out for any red flags on your home search.

Problem #1: Moisture

Port Alberni, surrounded by temperate rainforest and the nearby ocean, is a location well accustomed to moisture in the air. Unfortunately, this means that dampness can create a whole myriad of problems in a house that a seller might want to hide.

Problems caused by moisture can come as water leaks, through the roof or the ceiling, for instance. Another way it can surface is in mold or mildew, resulting in a musty smell. Although this scent is usually quite distinct and doesn’t need a home inspector to sniff it out, a seller might try to disguise it with a strategically placed scented candle. The presence of a candle doesn’t always mean there is a moisture problem. Sometimes a candle is just a nice touch. However, if you visit a home that seems over fragranced or something just smells “off,” this could be a major red flag. Trust your senses. It could save you from a nightmare later on.

Problem #2: Pests

The last thing you want to inherit as a home buyer are unwanted guests. Any kind of pest or infestation is a nightmare. Some home sellers may try to camouflaged damage done by termites or other critters with a simple coat of paint. However, a fresh coat of paint is not going to help you after you’ve bought the property and realize the deck is rotted through.

Sometimes the damage can be hidden inside walls or under the deck. That’s why it’s crucial to hire a professional home inspector who knows where to look for hidden issues.

Problem #3: Structural Issues

Any complications with the structure of a home are an immediate red-flag. Is the roof sagging? Or maybe there’s a crack in the foundation? These are serious problems that are not going to fix themselves. Problems like that will only get worse with time. They are never quick or inexpensive to deal with.

Ensure that the home inspector checks all areas, above and below. If any issues with the structure arise, you might want to consider a sale price negotiation for the cost of repairs. If the home structure is in seriously poor condition, consider moving on in your home search. Better to be safe than sorry.

Problem #4: Pool Troubles

Buying a home with a pool can be an exciting purchase, promising summer fun in the sun. However, pools are expensive to upkeep and especially costly to repair. You want to be certain that you’re buying a property with a functioning pool with no hidden issues.

Potential pool related troubles can include cracks, leaks, or simply malfunctioning equipment. Be aware that a regular home inspector is not necessary trained to recognize flaws in pools. Consider finding a local certified pool inspector to make sure you won’t be stuck with an expensive surprise.

Problem #5: Ageing Home Systems

As a home buyer, you want to know if any of the major home systems and installations are new or coming to the end of their life. Major systems include a water heater, boiler, or air conditioner. If you’re buying a property where a system will soon need to be replaced, this will change the attractiveness of the home. Since installing a new major system is not cheap, you want to be aware of each system’s condition. You want to know if you will need to think about budgeting for a new one.

Make sure your home inspector checks these home systems. They should be able to tell you when they were last replaced or maintained and their overall condition. This information will help you decide whether the property is still worth while to pursue or if you should move on in your search.


In conclusion, we hope this discussion about 5 problems that home sellers try to hide has been helpful to you. As a home buyer in Port Alberni, you want to know that you can purchase a new home with confidence in its condition.

Our team of Port Alberni REALTORS® are here to help guide you through the process. Don’t hesitate to contact us.


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