As a professional Realtor, working largely by referral and supported by a team of professionals, I'll put 20 years of experience to work for you and your family.

As an artist with considerable skill in marketing and sales promotion, I'll create compelling visuals that capture the essence of a residential property and support your efforts to buy or sell.

As your neighbor, a homeowner in this stunning region of the country, I can help you settle in, maintain and improve your home, keep up with the market, and enjoy the Hudson Valley and Westchester County to its fullest.

Home Inspections

The fear factor for buyers and sellers

It’s just as important for a successful transaction that the buyer understands what the seller is feeling as it is that the seller understands what the buyer is feeling. Feeling? Absolutely! While buyers are afraid of making a serious mistake, sellers are afraid that something they may not even know about will show up in the inspection − that the accepted sales price upon which they have already compromised will be further eroded or that there could be something that they cannot afford to repair. There is nothing like fear to derail a transaction.

Remaining calm and reasonable is important for all parties – sellers, buyers and agents!

It’s not unusual for a seller to become defensive around the circumstances of an inspection. It doesn’t feel good to have strangers invade your home looking for faults or exaggerating the significance of quirks that you find endearing or have managed to ignore for many years! This defensiveness doesn’t mean that the seller is necessarily trying to hide something, only that when flight is not possible in the face of a threat, fight comes into play. And it can soon be reciprocated. Very few problems are unsolvable, and if the buyer and seller have come to an agreement on price and terms and have reached the stage in which a buyer is investing in an inspection and the sellers have opened up their home to scrutiny, they are well on the way to a successful sales transaction.

Good Realtors help all the parties maintain perspective.

After all if there is a real problem with the house, particularly one that impacts the safety or health of its occupants, then it will need to be addressed before the house can sell to anyone. But if a door doesn’t close properly or the home shows some settlement cracks, well, no home is perfect, ever.

A proactive seller might consider having a pre-sale inspection.

Even the most confident seller in a “perfect house” might consider having a diagnostic review of his property by a licensed inspector or engineer prior to listing the home for sale. Defects can exist unbeknownst to even a careful homeowner and otherwise undiscovered problems might conceivably be addressed before they become contentious issues.

Buyers should always do an inspection.

Prospective buyers ARE entitled to make a thorough, professional inspection of the property and should pretty much always do so. Even experienced home owners are not likely to know the nuances of every heating system or construction technique.

There is inspection etiquette.

Buyers are not entitled to act as if the place is already their own. A truly good inspector understands this and is mindful of the seller’s right to have his property treated with respect. The seller is entitled to know whom it is that is inspecting the house, how long it is likely to last and who will be present during the inspection. The buyers’ Realtor must help guide the buyers through the etiquette of the inspection just as the Realtor helped guide the buyers through the negotiations.

What do most inspectors look at and for?

The inspector will be looking at the property to ascertain if there are any significant and potentially costly problems in the structure(s) and the operational systems and will pay particular attention to hazardous conditions.

Plumbing and heating systems − Do all the plumbing fixtures work and is the plumbing leak-free? Is the heating plant operational and adequate for the size of the house? Is the hot water supply adequate? If there’s a well, is the water supply adequate and what is the quality of the water? (In Westchester County home owners with wells must present documentation of well testing that took place within the past year.)

Electrical systems − Do all the electrical outlets work, are they grounded properly and of the appropriate type for their location? Is the wiring safe and do all the circuit breakers work correctly?

Appliances − Are all those included in the sale functioning properly?

Structure − Is the foundation sound? Is the structure sound? Are there serious water problems – situations where water is penetrating the interior through the foundation, roof or the skin of the house? Is there current termite activity or other wood eating insect damage?

Safety − Are there unacceptable levels of radon gas in the premises on the lowest living level? Is there fire rated sheet rock where it should be? Is there a safety stop on automatic garage door openers? Do any hazardous conditions exist on the site?

What an inspector may not do!

The inspector must be very careful about commenting upon perceived “code violations.” A house that is not compliant with current code may have been entirely compliant when it was built and the seller is not necessarily required to address those issues. Also, codes vary from municipality to municipality and state to state. No inspector knows all these things unless they have additional professional licensing. Finally, over the course of the inspection as issues are discovered, every prospective buyer is tempted to ask how much it will cost to correct a problem. Experienced inspectors know to avoid answering that question. After all, different service providers charge at different rates and costs can vary substantially. The buyers should be able to turn to their Realtor and ask for referrals to qualified contractors who can help them make those necessary determinations.

Let the inspection be part of a win-win transaction.

Unless a house is seriously compromised, a willing seller and willing buyer will be able to resolve most any issue that arises during an inspection, a win-win for everyone. In home inspections, the “only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.”