What You Should Know Before Your Final Walk-Through

Once you have found the home of your dreams, submitted an offer that the seller has accepted it is time for you to begin preparing for your final walk-through of the property.  A final walk-through is often arranged by your real estate agent at least a week prior to the closing. 

The purpose of a final walk-through is to ensure that the property is still in the same condition as it was when you last visited.  It is also used as a way to ensure that any repairs that were agreed to be made by the seller, have been completed.  There are typically two types of final walk-throughs, one is a formal arrangement that often requires that you sign a contract addendum stating that you have completed your final walk-through and have found everything to be satisfactory.  The other type is an informal walk-through that you and the seller agree to without any additional paperwork necessary.

Here are some things that you should keep in mind when performing your final walk-through.

  • A final walk-through shouldn’t be considered a home inspection.  By now you should have had an inspection performed on the property by a reputable home inspector. 
  • Bring a copy of your contract with you.  This is a great idea, you may need to refer to certain parts of it during your walk-through.
  • In some cases, the seller will be present during the walk-through.  If this is the case, you should view it as an opportunity to find out any specific details about the property.  The owner will be able to offer you information that their agent may not have been aware of.
  • If the home you are purchasing has been vacant for a long period of time prior to you purchasing it, the walk-through should not be ignored.  Since the last time you visited the property, a pipe may have broken or other damage may have occurred.  This will give you an opportunity to inspect the damage sooner rather than later.
  • While preparing for you final walk-through, you may want to create a checklist of things to look at during your visit.  This list should include inspecting the exterior of the home, especially if the area has recently experienced severe weather.  Make sure that the seller hasn’t removed any fixtures or accessories that were supposed to remain in the home.  Check to make sure that any repairs that should have been made have been.  Carefully look at all ceilings, walls and floorboards for any signs of water damage that may not have been noticeable before. 

By taking your time and carefully looking at even the smallest details during your final walk-through, you will be well aware of any problems that may have developed since your last visit.  A final walk-through is an important part of the home buying process and should not be ignored.  This is your final chance before closing to take note of any problems that may not have been properly resolved.

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