After all the time and effort you’ve put into your search, you’ve finally found the home of your dreams (or at least one in your price range that you’re mildly excited about). You’ve made an offer, had the home inspected, and soon it’ll be time to close.
But before doing that, you’re going to want to do a final walk-through of the home to ensure that any agreed-upon changes and improvements have been made. Here’s why final walk-throughs matter, and what to look for before closing on a property, according to an article by Terri Williams on BobVila.com.
Why doing a final walk-through is important
If you’ve had the home inspected already, you may be wondering why you need to do another pass through the house before closing. In short, because you’ll want to make sure all the necessary improvements you and the seller agreed upon after the inspection have actually been made.
“We’ve likely not been to the home since the inspection, so the purpose of the walk-through is to make sure it’s in the same condition, confirm agreed-upon work from the inspection has been completed, and that anything included in the offer remains in the home,” Stephanie Minnich, sales agent at the Falk Ruvin Gallagher Team at Keller Williams Realty in Whitefish Bay, WI tells BobVila.com.
What to look for during a final walk-through
In addition to anything discussed after the home inspection that is not yet done, here’s a list of other things to keep an eye out for, courtesy of Minnich and Betsy Ronel, a licensed real estate salesperson with Compass in Westchester County, NY who was also interviewed for the BobVila.com article:
Water should be on and working.
Light fixtures should be in place and working.
There should be no damage to walls, floors, cabinetry, doors, windows, garage doors, or the outside property.
Other than potentially emptier, the house should look the same and be as sound as it was when previously viewed.
Watch out for unexpected issues such as damage from a mover or a recent storm that has caused water damage.
Confirm that everything included in the offer is still in the house. This includes fixtures, appliances, and other agreed-upon items.
Confirm that all work from the inspection amendment has been completed. For example, check the window that needed to be fixed or a new water heater that needed to be installed.
And unless you and the seller have an arrangement about including the furniture or other items in the house, all their junk should be out by the time of the final walk-through.
What to do if something doesn’t look right
If the house isn’t up to your expectations — either because something remains unaddressed after the inspection, a new problem has arisen, or you discover a defect that the owner had previously covered up — it may delay the closing, but, in most cases, doesn’t stop the sale.
“The closing is usually delayed and the agents of the buyer and seller work together to resolve any issues,” Minnich explains. “It can either be quickly resolved or we work on a plan together to move forward and get the house closed.”