Ideas, tips, suggestions, facts about selling your property in Maryland and Northern Virginia.

Exterior: How does your home present from the street or road?

  • Roof: If the roof is clearly at the end of it's useful life, even if it doesn't leak, expect this item to be a reflected in the home inspection report.
  • Trim: It is a good idea to paint or touch up painted wood trim. At the least, examine the property for wood rot in areas near dampness where termites may invade.
  • Landscaping: If you intend to take certain plants with you, remove them prior to listing. Having tagged items in the landscaping "tagged" is a barrier to sale.


  • Home Inspection: We recommend that sellers have a "pre-listing home inspection". However, our Homefinders network of experienced brokers and agents will walk your home and advise about items that a home inspector is likely to consider a defect. In the alternative, it is a good idea to have furnace and air conditioner serviced and "tagged" shortly before listing. Make sure all filters are changed regularly.

termites Termites: Expect a buyer to perform an inspection for Termites. This is a cost to the buyer in Maryland and to the Seller in Virginia. If a termite infestation is revealed by a visual inspection, prepare to have a termite treatment done. It is a good idea to have a Termite inspection prior to listing a home for sale.

  • Radon inspections are inexpensive and Radon remediation averages about $850 to $1,500 for average size homes. If a buyer has a Radon inspection performed and the reading is 4 picoCuries per liter (pCi/L) or higher, a Radon remediation is recommended. The contract may be contingent on a Radon level below 4 picoCuries per liter (pCi/L) or higher. You can look at the EPA Radon map to determine if your home is in an area where readings are often high.


  • Attic: Attics are meant for ventilation. If you store belongings in the attic of a home, you may reduce the life of the roof. Ventilation prevents moisture and mold growth in attics. Consider moving items stored in the attic to the basement or storage center.
  • Kitchen: Make sure that all appliances including electrical range elements are working properly.
  • Bathrooms: Visually look for any leaks from plumbing on all levels. If there are any moisture stains anywhere in the house, the roof and all plumbing should be examined carefully.
  • Basement: Make sure that any plumbing and sump pumps work properly. A wet basement is a "deal killer". If a basement has had dampness or water intrusion, make sure that the cause has been corrected and repair any damage. If a basement has a "high water mark", most home inspection will not that as a defect. If the basement leaks have been repaired, it's a good idea to paint the area for freshness.
  • Personal Property: If you do not wish to convey items that are installed, lighting fixtures, shelving, etc., remove them before listing the property. Tagging items works but can discourage sales.


  • Property Condition Disclosure: The property condition reports for Maryland and Northern Virginia are completed by the home owner who has lived in the home. It should not be completed by the agent. If the Disclaimer is used, material defects, defects that would make a property unsafe or cause significant loss of value should be disclosed.
  • Lead Based Paint Disclosure: Homes constructed in 1978 or earlier MUST have disclosure of the owner's knowledge of lead based paint.

For specific information about items or conditions in your house that could be a barrier to sale, be sure to ask your agent. Ignoring defects in a home doesn't help sell a home, it merely causes delay when the defect is discovered.

To schedule a visit with an experienced agent and FREE CMA, contact Lenn Harley, Broker, Homefinders.com, 800-711-7988. Or, Contact Us.

Counties served:

homefinders market area

Home sellers in Virginia, area served: Alexandria, Arlington, Culpeper, Fairfax, Falls Church, Fauquier, King George, Loudoun, Prince William, Spotsylvania, Stafford, Westmorland. Richmond, Virginia; Hanover, Goochland Chestrfield, Powhatan and New Kent Counties.

Home sellers in Maryland, area served: Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Baltimore City, Calvert, Carroll, Cecil, Charles, Frederick, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George's, St. Mary's, Washington Counties and the Maryland Eastern Shore, Caroline, Kent, Queen Anne's, Talbot Counties.