An Insider’s Guide To The Final Walk-Through


How To Take Full Advantage Of The Final Walk-Through

After weeks, possibly months, of house hunting, negotiating, and waiting for escrow to close, you’re just about packed and ready to go. But wait; before you load up the moving van, there’s one last thing you need to do: the final walk-through. This final walk-through, which is an important step in the home buying process, is your last chance to check over the house before closing, and make sure everything is as it should be before signing on the dotted line. In order to take maximum advantage of this opportunity, here’s a short guide full of information and advice all home buyers should know about the final walk-through. SEE ALSO: How To Renege On  Home Purchase Contract

Why The Final Walk-Through Is Important

The main intentions of conducting a final walk-through is so that buyers can confirm that:
  • the property has been maintained
  • agreed upon repairs have been completed
  • the seller has complied with other obligations under the purchase agreement
According to the Verification of Property Condition contained in most home purchasing contracts, the buyer has a right to verify the condition of the property within five days prior to close of escrow. Although it is not a contingency of the sale of the house, you can ask the seller to compensate for uncompleted repairs or newly discovered damages if found. A final walk-through is not an inspection, but you should definitely be as observant and thorough as if it were.

Tips From A Qualified Professional

Reeza Gervacio, a nationally ranked Century 21 realtor with over 16 years of real estate experience, suggests that buyers never forego a final walk-through. “You are spending a huge sum of your money to realize your dream of owning a home,” she points out. “Don’t let that dream become a nightmare.” To help transition more smoothly into your new home without having to worry about cleaning up or making costly repairs your first few weeks, she recommends buyers bring the purchase contract to refer to, in case any problems arise while on site, plus a checklist of what to inspect during the walk-through. Here are some things she suggests every buyer should remember:
  • Check if the following are working: light fixtures, heat and/or air conditioning, all major appliances, garbage disposal, garage door openers, and exhaust fans.
  • Turn on water faucets and check for leaks under sinks.
  • Flush all toilets.
  • Open and close all windows and doors to make sure they function properly.
  • Make sure the seller hasn’t removed any fixtures that he or she agreed to leave behind.
  • Do a visual spot-check of ceilings, walls and floors.
  • Check the status of any agreed-upon repairs.
  • Check screens and storm windows.
  • Look in storage areas to make sure no trash or unwanted items remain.
  • Do a quick check of the grounds.
If the seller agrees, Reeza also suggests performing the final walk-through in their presence so he or she can answer any of your questions or concerns.

After The Final Walk-Through

Any repair issues you find during the walk-through can then be worked out with the seller at closing, with reasonable requests for either repair or concession. Once both parties are in agreement and you’ve signed a form confirming that you’ve done your walk-through and found the property to your satisfaction, the rest of the closing process can be completed. SEE ALSO: 7 Questions You Must Ask Neighbors Before You Buy Remember, the sale of the home is not contingent to the final walk-through, but it’s the buyer’s last opportunity to make sure there will be no unwanted surprises after closing.  Taking the time and effort to be thorough beforehand can save time, stress, and money in the long run. So, take advantage of the final walk-through to make sure all issues are fixed before moving forward with the purchase.

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