One of the first stages of the home-buying process often involves browsing property listings online. This is a great way to gain a better understanding of what types of home are currently for sale, as well as the prices for homes. It is also a great way to weed out homes you probably do not want to buy. As you look through listings, there are some red flags to watch out for that may indicate the homes have issues, and here are some of these.

The listing lacks photos

If a home listing does not include any photos, you should instantly view this as a red flag. After all, why would a person try to sell their home without offering even a single picture of the house? When you see listings that do not have any photos, there is likely a reason for this, and it typically is because the owners are trying to hide something. They would not hesitate in posting pictures of their house if it looked nice, but they might skip the photos if the house has a lot of issues.

Certain terms

Another red flag to watch out for in property listings are certain terms. While some terms might make a home seem more appealing, there are other types of terms that are often used to tell buyers about problems without really saying that the house has problems. For example, if you see a listing with the words "fixer-upper," you should instantly know that the house needs work. Another phrase used for a house in this condition is "handyman's special."

You should also use caution when a listing says "as-is." This term generally tells you that the seller is not willing to help pay for any issues the house has. Instead, they are selling the house as it sits – problems and all.

For sale by owner

The other type of red flag to watch for is when a house is listed for sale by owner. While this is not necessarily something that indicates a problem with the house, it may indicate that there will be a problem if you try to use a real estate agent to complete the deal.

If you want to choose a great single family home to buy, you should always work with a real estate agent. The agent you choose will help you throughout every step of the home-buying process, including choosing which homes to view.