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Before you move into your home, complete this final checklist – Forbes Advisor

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While the final walkthroughs are not home inspections, they are just as important. This is the perfect opportunity for home buyers to inspect a new home just before completing a purchase. The main objective of this walkthrough is to ensure that the property is in the exact condition in which you agreed to purchase it, including any agreed repairs. It’s also a great opportunity to make sure nothing has gone wrong with the house since you last saw it.

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The importance of a final walkthrough

The final walkthrough is not required by law, but it is one of the most important steps when buying a new home. A final walkthrough helps homebuyers make sure everything is what they think they are buying. This is the last chance to make sure nothing has gone wrong due to the previous owner leaving the property. It is also important to check if any repairs needed to be made as a condition of closing the sale.

The final walkthrough is your only opportunity between the first visit and home inspection until they take possession of the property. So this ensures that you accept the house on the terms you agreed upon when closing.

Tips for having the perfect final walkthrough

While doing your walkthrough, it’s common to feel pressured to do it quickly. Keep these tips in mind to get the most out of your walkthrough.

1. Find out who attends the walkthrough

Usually, both the buyer and the buyer’s agent are present in the final walkthrough. However, the seller or his agent is rarely present. This gives the buyer the freedom to inspect the property at will, without feeling pressured. However, keep in mind that the final walkthrough is not a home inspection. So, don’t expect engineers or architects to witness the walkthrough with you.

2. Program it just before closing

In most cases, you can schedule the final virtual tour approximately 24 hours before the closing date. Work with your real estate agent and the seller’s agent when you can see the vacant property. When planning a guided tour with the house still occupied, you might have difficulty seeing some minor issues or issues that could easily go unnoticed.

3. Do a second walkthrough after bad weather

It might sound odd, but if you’re lucky enough to have bad weather before closing, see if you can schedule another visit. Repeating the walkthrough can help you check for water intrusions, sinkholes, or any damage that you did not see in the previous procedure.

4. Communicate new issues

If you have significant issues in the final walkthrough, remember that it doesn’t have to be a snap. Communicating these issues to your agent and the seller may delay the close for a few days, but it means you are giving the seller time to resolve the issue. If anything, you may be able to ask the seller for a closing loan so that you can make the repairs after the agreed move-in day.

The Ultimate Walkthrough Checklist

On the day of the final virtual tour, it may be a good idea to print out a virtual tour checklist and bring it with you to make sure you don’t miss a thing. Read on for some of the great things to keep in mind during the walkthrough.

Inside the house

  • Check that all windows and doors lock and unlock properly. Check that the windows open easily. And check that there are no flaws, tears or holes in the screens.
  • Confirm that all devices in the house are working as expected. Check the washing machine, dryer, garbage disposal, and all appliances in the house, including toilets, showers, and sinks.
  • Pay special attention to toilets, bathrooms, under-sink cabinets and refrigerators for mildew. Inspect the wettest areas to make sure there are no molds or problems.
  • Check all electrical systems and outlets, including all plate covers, to make sure there are no signs of damage.
  • Look for pests, such as termites, ants, and rodents. Mouse droppings and bite marks are all signs of unwanted critters that you need to take care of.
  • Make sure that all appliances and anything attached to the house stay in the house.
  • Inspect the floors and walls for any damage.
  • Test the thermostat and check the HVAC units once more.

Outside the house

  • Inspect the backyard and make sure the landscaping is in order.
  • If the house has a gate, go around the property and make sure the gate locks and unlocks.
  • If the home has a pool, inspect the pool and look for mold, mildew, and siding damage. Test the pool doors and note any damage.
  • Check the home irrigation system to verify that all sprinklers are working properly.
  • Inspect any isolated properties such as sheds or guesthouses to verify that they are in good condition.
  • Test the garage door to make sure it opens and closes smoothly and that all remotes are working properly.
  • Check and control the condition of any exterior repairs agreed upon during closure.

One more thing about walkthroughs

The last days of visitation before moving into your new home are very important. While it may seem unnecessary to mention the issues you are having with the property, consult your real estate agent to learn about the different actions you can take. While you don’t necessarily have to give up the deal, you can still get seller credit to do the repairs yourself.

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Walkthrough FAQs

How long does a final walkthrough take?

Depending on the size of the house, the final exam can take anywhere from an hour to several hours. Remember, this is the last time you will see the house and have the opportunity to inspect everything. So, don’t rush the walkthrough.

Can buyers opt out after the final procedure?

The short answer is yes. Buyers can always opt out of a sales contract. While this usually happens during the home inspection phase, buyers may come across a major new issue that deters them from continuing with their purchase in the final process.

What if you don’t do a final walkthrough?

Since a walkthrough is not required by law, many buyers choose not to. However, by passing this on, you are missing the opportunity to perform a thorough inspection of the property to make sure everything is in order. Even if things are in order in most cases, finding unexpected damages after the case is concluded can mean having to face expensive repairs later.


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