Season 6 kicks off tonight at 9PM on Bravo

I love Jeff, Jenni and can count Zoila as a Facebook friend. In honor of Bravo’s mega-hit “Flipping Out” premiering tonight, I’m sharing 7 tips on how to spot a bad flip. Flips aren’t all bad. In fact, some are exceptionally good.

Every now and then a reputable developer teams up with a great designer to create a perfect storm worthy of a bidding war. Other times, hyper greedy types get together and spend nothing on materials or construction with the desire to make a $200k profit–the sucky part is that many times, they succeed.

1) The Big Picture: Check the sales history and current asking price. Does it look worthy of an additional $100k-200k?

2) Finishes: Custom cabinets or Home Depot stock? Though both functional, one says more about the developer and overall quality.

3) Blingy Finishes: Don’t get blinded by that Toto toilet because you might miss that it was installed poorly on an uneven floor

4) Uneven Floors: Bad woodwork or is it an indication of something terrible below?

5) Sloppiness: Get really anal about this. Before I trained my eye to measure for level, I traveled with a pocket-sized level. If no one cared to quality check what’s visible, imagine the shoddiness hiding behind walls. Bonus tip: Wall cabinets and outlet covers. If these are crooked, run.

6) Staging: Staging can be a great when it goes with an awesome house. But great staging could also hide a terrible flip. Bonus tip: Cheap developers rarely spend on top notch stagers – if the staging looks crappy, it’s likely that the flip is too.

7) Landscaping: Seriously? If a developer is too cheap to throw down some seeds and water, a nominal expense in a flipping budget, move on. He likely cut corners where it matters like with electrical and plumbing.

For a great agent who can spot those naughty ones a mile away, let me know. And yes, there are lots of bad ones currently on the market.

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