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  • From the Seller Info section: "Remember, prospective buyers will be 'comparison shopping' and keenly aware of subtle differences in houses for sale in the area. Be sure to tell your listing broker why yours is special - from any home remodeling to afternoon winter sunshine."

  • From the Buyer Info section: "The obvious source of money for your down payment is either your savings or the proceeds from the sale of a home you already own, but there are some other not so obvious sources. In recent years, for example, 'parent power' has taken some new twists for first-time buyers."

  • From the Marketing Plan section: "If your agent is not a good negotiator, not only will you not get the best deal, often your house won't get sold at all. We take pride in this aspect of our business experience."

  • From the General Contractors section:
    "Always make sure their license is active and in good standing. Make sure that the contractor you hire is fully qualified to do the job and not working under someone else's license as an apprentice or subcontractor."



I encourage anyone that I work with to get a formal home inspection. Even if the home inspection is to be for informational purposes only, it is your duty to get a solid general knowledge about the property you are about to purchase. To date, the state of Maryland does not require a formal home inspection. The more you know the better.

A home inspection should include a top to bottom evaluation of the condition of the property by an objective and trained professional. A detailed report should be provided to the client and the report should be reviewed with the client. The client should determine whether he or she would like to continue to move forward with the transaction (based on the findings in the report). Many types of inspections can be performed, and it is up to the client to make a selection of the inspector and the types of inspections to be performed. If the client decides to not go forward with the transaction based on the home inspector's recommendation, it is his or her right to back out of the transaction.


What can home buyers expect from a home inspector - besides a bill for $225 and up (depending on the size of property and/or complexity of the inspector's report)?

First of all, require proof of membership in the American Society of Home Inspectors. Next, expect a quickly-delivered (one or two-day) written report.

Expect practical returns. While you can see for yourself many flaws in a house, the practiced eye of a professional inspector can probably spot more, especially in areas not easily accessible to a home buyer. Specific information could even reduce the price of a house if the seller will agree the price has not already been discounted for defects.


Serious problems (heating, roofing, plumbing)
Medium problems (insulation, paint)
Minor problems (electrical outlets, kitchen sink)

If no serious problems are found, inspection can pay off indirectly in assurance that you are making a sound investment.

Many states require that sellers provide buyers with either a residential property disclosure or disclaimer statement.

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Portions © 2009 Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. Used with permission.