Agent

Inspection vital when selling second home

Tactic aims to minimize market time, haggling with buyers

The little condominium in the salt-water marina was across the street from the shopping center that had drawn the rest of my family. The "For Sale By Owner" open-house sign caught my eye as a chance to burn some time while the shoppers filled their bags. The place was cute, well appointed and appeared in terrific condition for an older building -- the kind of place that probably would have sold in a matter of days two years ago. The owners, who are competitive sailors, had purchased the place as a second home but never found the time to use the place as much as expected. It was clear the owners had gone the extra step not only in maintaining, but also in showing. The brass door numbers had recently been purchased; the welcome mat was new; and the back deck had a fresh coat of stain. The extra step suddenly turned into an extra mile -- the sellers had paid for a complete inspection report that was stapled to the common sales flier. "We simply have got nothing to hide," the ...