A few days before you sign the documents to finalize your purchase of a home, you’ll have the chance to take one last look through the property. The final walk-through is your last opportunity to confirm that the house is in similar or better condition than it was when it went under contract, and it’s also your chance to make sure no new issues have cropped up since the inspection.
What Should I Look for During My Final Walk-Through?
It has probably been weeks since you’ve seen the home and it’s exciting to walk through it again. You may be tempted to start mentally arranging furniture and picking out new paint colors while you’re there, but it’s in your best interest to put those feelings aside for now. This is your last chance to look for issues and work with the seller to address them before the home is officially yours. You should plan to spend 30 minutes to an hour walking through the home, paying careful attention to its condition.
In today’s competitive housing market, many buyers are waiving their home inspection to make a stronger offer. If that’s the case, it is especially important to focus on bigger red-flag items during your walk-through.
Before you head off to see your new home, it’s important you make sure you have your contract, inspection summary, a notepad, a camera, any photos you took of damage that needed repair, a cell phone and charger (to easily check that all electrical outlets are working) and, of course, your real estate agent. Make sure to coordinate with the sellers before deciding on a date. If you go too early they may not have finished moving out, and if you go too late, you may not have enough time to remedy any large issues that you spot.
Here are the big things to look for when making your final walk-through.
- Are all agreed-upon repair items completed? (Ask to see receipts.)
- Has the previous owner removed all debris, garbage and unwanted items? (Keep in mind, the house will likely not be professionally cleaned and will need a once-over when you move in.)
- Has the yard been maintained?
- Are all agreed-upon appliances still in the house and are they working properly?
- Does the home still contain all furniture included with the purchase?
- Are there any major holes or damages as a result of the previous owner moving out? (Normal wear and tear like nail holes can be expected.)
Here are some other things to look for once you have checked the above.
- Do all lights and switches still work? (Keep in mind the home has likely been vacant for 30 or more days. If light switches don’t work, it could be due to burnt-out bulbs, which you’ll likely need to replace yourself.)
- Do all power outlets work? (Use your cell phone and charger to quickly test whether outlets work).
- Are appliances in working order?
- Do toilets flush?
- Do sinks, showers and tub spouts run? Can you spot any leaks?
- Is there hot water?
- Do sink and tub drain stoppers function?
- Do all windows and doors open and close smoothly? And are all screens present and attached properly? Be sure to check that window latches and door locks are working properly.
- Do the heat and air conditioning work?
And remember, your lender might run a final credit check before you close. You should keep an eye on your credit during this critical time. You can view a free credit report snapshot, which is updated every 14 days, on Credit.com.