You’ve found the perfect home, and closing is right around the corner. But your real estate agent still recommends one final step. A final walk through in your new home is that step. You may be asking yourself, “What should I look for on a final walk through when buying a house?” Don’t worry, we have you covered. Let’s start at the beginning.
What is a final walk through?
Although a final walk through is not necessary and not all buyers choose to perform one with their real estate agent, it is highly recommended. You should do a final walk through 24-48 hours prior to your closing date, as it’s the last crucial step before closing. And here it is. Essentially, a final walk through consists of the buyer and their agent walking through the soon-to-be purchased home to ensure any repairs agreed at inspection have been completed, the home is in the same condition as it was during the first viewing, and to uphold the terms of the contract.
Why do I need a final walk through?
You should always set-up a final walk through. The first reason is to ensure the seller has completed all inspection resolution items. When the buyer and seller decide which items the seller will repair that were found during inspection, that’s called an inspection resolution. Prior to your final walk through, your agent should have all receipts from the listing agent proving the inspection items have been completed. Your agent will guide you through the next steps to ensure the inspection resolution document is upheld, if it wasn’t completed.
Secondly, ensure your home is in the same condition as when you first saw it. As unfortunate as it is, some accidents can occur while sellers are moving out of the home. Complete the final walk through after the sellers move out, just in case any damage is done during the move. And resolve any issues prior to closing, if there was damage to the home. You need to resolve these issues prior to closing to ensure you do not get stuck with the bill when repairs are made. Lastly, the final walk through ensures that all the terms of your contract have been met. For example, if the buyer and seller agree to leave some furniture in the home, the buyer will want to make sure that furniture has still been left in the house before signing the closing documents on closing day.
Who should be at the final walk through?
We also recommend the seller be present for the final walk through if possible. They know the ins and outs of the home and can answer any questions the buyer may have. It’s a good idea in general for buyers and sellers to meet and exchange information. Why? In case the buyers have any questions after move-in or they receive some of the seller’s mail that needs forwarding. Additionally, it’s a good idea to have your real estate with you to ensure you are not overlooking anything.
Things to bring to the final walk through:
Your final contract: You’ll be able to reference your contract to see what is supposed to be left in the house and not left in the house.
Notepad: You’ll need to jot down your observations in your notes.
Phone or camera: In addition to taking good notes, you’ll want a camera so you can take pictures of items that you need to remember.
Inspection summary: You are going to need to reference this to ensure everything is completed.
Final walk through before closing checklist:
- Verify final repairs – Double check that repairs from your inspection summary have been completed as promised.
- Check general sale items – This includes things like window blinds, appliances, etc. Basically anything you included in your contract that is part of the sale
- Open windows and doors – Check functionality of windows and doors to ensure they are working properly. Also, look for things like missing screens and malfunctioning locks.
- Inspect the bathrooms – Ensure the bathrooms are free of leaking water from the base of the toilets, by the sink, and in the showers. Water can cause mold to pop up in just a matter of days.
- Check condition of the kitchen – Similarly to checking the bathroom, look for leaks under your sink and refrigerator.
- Test all the appliances – Ensure your oven turns on, check for gas smells, check the refrigerator, washer, dryer, fans, and heater/air conditioner.
- Test the electrical system – You’ll begin doing this as you test some of your appliances, but also check lights and electrical outlets.
- Tour the property – Walk around the outside of the property and ensure everything is up to par with what is written in the contract.
- Look for signs of pests – Check for termite damage, signs of rodents, or bugs.
- Measure rooms – If all is good from the above items, now is also a good time to take measurements of rooms to start planning where you might want furniture to go.
As a buyer, express your concerns right away, if you have any questions while performing the final walk through. Your agent can make sure the home is in top notch condition when you move in. If items you find are big enough, you can get the seller to fix them before you finalize the purchase of the home.
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Mike is the Market Director for Colorado at TRELORA. He is personally responsible for closing over 600 successful real estate transactions and has played a role in closing hundreds more. He started at TRELORA in August of 2016 and began his real estate career in Jacksonville, FL in February of 2011. In his tenure at TRELORA he has been a Buy Manager, Buy Agent, Listing Agent, and Field Agent before accepting his current position as Market Director in January of 2021. Mike has a Bachelor of Science in Finance and a Master of Science in Entrepreneurship both from the University of Florida. Go Gators!