5 Potential Bathroom Problems Buyers Can Miss in Virtual Tours

October 2, 2020

Bathrooms tend to be smaller spaces, making it easier for house hunters to miss things during a virtual tour. Potential problem areas may require further inspection. Sometimes real estate pros need to be the in-person eyes during their buyers' search for properties online.

Realtor.com® recently highlighted several bathroom problems that can be “hidden” during a virtual tour. Here are a few things to look for:

Under the sink. It's important to look for any water damage inside the cabinets under the sink. “The bathroom is the number one place for water damage, so it’s a good idea to check under the sink for leaking,” Kari Haas, a real estate professional at Windmere Real Estate in Bellevue, Wash., told realtor.com®. Also, if possible, zoom in on fixtures during the virtual tour to look for any corrosion or leaks. Real estate professionals also may want to turn on the faucets of the sink, tub, and shower to check water pressure.

Squishy floors. Agents should zoom in on the floors in the bathroom. “Look to see if there are any areas of cracking in the floor tile, separation, or damaged grouting, or any ‘softness’ felt underfoot that could indicate issues with any past or current plumbing or a pest issue,” Wendy Gladson, a real estate consultant at Compass in Los Angeles, told realtor.com®.

Mildew. Inspect the condition of the tile grout even further. “If there are gaps, there could be hidden damage behind the walls, and if there is mildew, it speaks to ventilation and poor maintenance,” Gladson adds. Agents should also open and close shower doors for their virtual buyers to help them ensure they function correctly.

A faulty toilet. On a virtual tour, agents also need to focus on the toilet. Here’s one test, other agents suggested to realtor.com®: Stand over the toilet and jump up and down to see if the toilet is loose and needs a new wax ring. Check to make sure the flooring is solid too. If not, there could be rot.

Smell. Agents may be asked to comment on any odors in the bathroom. An air freshener present could be masking an issue with plumbing or mold, agents warn. “Homes on a septic system that have a strong odor could be a sign of an issue that could cost you more later,” Gladson told realtor.com®.

View the full list of 13 hidden problems in a bathroom at realtor.com®.

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