W is for Walk-Through

In Buyers, First-Time Buyers, Real Estate Adviceby Doug Phelps

The final walk-through is your last chance to make sure your new home is exactly in the same condition as what you agreed to purchase. This review can take place anywhere from a few hours to a few days before the final closing. The walk-through is an important final step in making sure that all expectations have been met and your new home is really ready for you to take ownership.

What the Walk-Through is Not

Keep in mind that your final walk-through is NOT the same as a home inspection. You should have already brought in an inspector and given the seller time to make any requested repairs. The walk-through isn’t the time to begin new negotiations. Rather, it’s just a last chance to make sure that the seller has kept up their end of the contract, and to make sure nothing about the property has changed.

Tips for a Successful Walk-Through

There are several ways you can ensure a successful walk-through. Here are some of the most important things to remember.

  1. Bring the essentials. You will want to make sure you bring your final contract and inspection summary with you. It is also a good idea to have a notepad for documenting your findings and a camera for anything that needs attention.
  2. Verify all repairs. This is perhaps the most important part of the walk-through. Make sure you verify that all of the required repairs have been completed, as outlined in your negotiated inspection resolution. It’s also a good idea to collect any warranty information on new appliances and receipts for any work done.
  3. Check your agreement about inclusions. This is your chance to make sure everything that was supposed to come with the house, like the refrigerator and stove, are still there and working properly. Also, make sure there aren’t any unwanted items or construction debris left behind.
  4. Make sure things are in working order. Take some time to make sure your doors and windows latch and lock. Be sure to make sure your heat and AC are working properly as well. And, check light switches and plugs if you can. Bringing a cell phone charger is a handy way to do this.
  5. Bring your real estate agent with you. Your agent can help guide you through the process and answer any questions you might have. They can also help you communicate with the sellers if anything isn’t meeting the agreed-upon expectations.