One of the last, most important steps you will complete when purchasing a home is your final walkthrough before closing. A final walkthrough is your chance to conduct a personal home inspection of the house before signing the closing documents.
The main purpose of a final walkthrough is to ensure that the property is in the same condition as it was when you agreed to buy it and all conditions laid out in the purchase agreement have been met.
During your final walkthrough you will want to ensure that:
The final walkthrough can be stressful and even though your real estate agent will accompany you, you may want to also contact a real estate attorney. The knowledgeable real estate lawyers at Moshes Law, P.C. are experienced with final walkthroughs. They can help you draft a final walkthrough checklist and give you tips about what to look for when inspecting your soon-to-be new home. Call Moshes Law today for a free consultation today.
Ideally, the final walkthrough should occur as close to the closing date as possible. Most final walkthroughs take place one or two days before closing but some even happen on the morning of the closing.
Scheduling the walkthrough close to the closing date ensures that the property will be in the exact condition you want before you sign the sale contract.
The time a final walkthrough will take to complete varies. Factors that will influence the duration of the walkthrough include:
There is no legal maximum time limit so a buyer can take as long as they need to complete their final walkthrough checklist.
A buyer should take their time and thoroughly inspect all rooms, fixtures, cabinets, storage areas, electrical outlets, windows, and doors. Rushing a walkthrough could cause the buyer to miss a vital flaw in the house.
You aren’t required to bring anything to the final walkthrough before closing, but you are encouraged to prepare for the event. You should contact your real estate agent and real estate attorney to coordinate a time to meet and prepare a closing on a house checklist.
Your real estate agent is required to be at the final walkthrough of the house with you. You should call them prior to the walkthrough to go over any last concerns or details.
You may also want your real estate lawyer, a home inspector, and any professionals who made repairs to the house present as well. Communicate these requests to your real estate agent.
While not required, it is encouraged you bring the following items to your final walkthrough before closing:
If you forget any of these items, don’t stress. Your real estate agent and real estate attorney are experienced at conducting walkthroughs and will have anything you may forget.
A final walkthrough checklist is a valuable tool when you inspect the house. Before your final walkthrough, you should sit down with your real estate agent and lawyer and create a checklist of everything that must be inspected.
Some common items that you will find on a basic final walkthrough checklist include:
Any items or provisions that are contractually included in the sale should be double-checked.
Use your inspection summary to verify that all requested repairs have been completed. The seller should provide you with warranties and receipts for any work completed.
If repairs were made to the house, double-check that any garbage or scraps from the work have been removed and cleanup. This includes around the yard and outside of the property.
It is crucial to check the heat, air conditioning, and all electrical systems during your walkthrough. Turn on the AC and heat to make sure it’s working. Turn on all the lights and make sure outlet plate covers are free from any damage.
The walkthrough is your chance to make sure everything is in working order so don’t leave any stone unturned. Open and close all windows and doors, inspect the bathrooms, turn on faucets, flush toilets, check light switches, and make sure locks work properly. All of these little aspects of the home should be in good working order to avoid headaches and expenses down the road.
A walkthrough shouldn’t just take place on the inside of the house, don’t forget to walk around the outside of the property too! The landscaping and outside fixtures should be in place. Don’t forget to check the sprinkler system too.
If you discover a problem or contract breach, it is not necessarily a deal-breaker. Typically, a motivated seller will be willing to work out the problem to move forward with the sale.
Your real estate agent can communicate with the seller’s agent to resolve the problem and keep the sale on track. Some common solutions to walkthrough issues include:
Final walkthrough issues are rare and when you work with an experienced real estate agent and lawyer the final walkthrough will more than likely run smoothly.
Final walkthroughs can be stressful and nerve-racking and there is a lot to remember and double-check before closing on your dream home. Don’t go through this process alone. Contact a trusted real estate lawyer at Moshes Law, P.C. to assist you through the closing process.
Our experienced attorneys will help you brainstorm a closing checklist and even accompany you to the final walkthrough. Contact us today for a free consultation.