A. There are few things to help protect buyers. First, the sales contract usually specifies that the seller keep the home in the same condition that it was when the offer was signed. Second, you should do a walk-through of the home just before closing to make sure you are comfortable with the condition of the house and to verify that the requested repairs have been done. Ask for the receipts of the repairs so that if you had problems after closing, you can call the companies directly. If you are buying new, builders typically allow a 30-day punch list of items to be fixed and also provide warranties for systems and structure. If you are buying a resale, you can purchase a home warranty to help protect your systems and appliances. These start at about $400/year and are “cafeteria-style” so you can add additional items of coverage to meet your needs.