As a real estate investor, distressed properties are often great finds – but how can you tell when a property is in distress and may be worth buying? Check out these six signs of a distressed property to learn more.

6 Telltale Signs of a Distressed Property

It’s often easy to spot a distressed property if you know what to look for. Keep your eyes open for:

  • Notices placed on doors or windows
  • Peeling or faded paint
  • Lights off at night
  • Neglected lawns 
  • Broken windows or obvious issues on the exterior
  • Uncollected mail

Why Are These the 6 Signs of a Distressed Property?

Neglect means the homeowner has thrown in the towel and isn’t actively maintaining the property. Although there may be several reasons for this, including the fact that the owner is in financial trouble or heirs have picked up the property and don’t want it, the fact is that a property that isn’t maintained is likely to sell for less than its better-maintained counterparts will.

Related: Tennessee home prices are at record highs

What Should You Do if You Find a Distressed Property You May Want to Buy?

Motivated investors see nothing wrong with approaching a homeowner and asking them to sell. There’s nothing wrong with that – and the worst they can say is that they’re not interested in selling. If you find a distressed property that’s close to foreclosure, you may even be able to talk to the owner about a short sale; that keeps the owner out of foreclosure proceedings (and keeps their credit report clean) and lets you work with the original lender to buy the home.

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