Thursday, 27 July 2017

4 Things Most Buyers Forget During The Final Home Walk Through

Written by Posted On Wednesday, 22 January 2014 01:41

When do you do a final walk though?

A final walk though is one of the last steps in the closing process and can be completed hours before you sign the final paper work or a few days prior. The final walk through is not a formal inspection and it’s not a basis for negotiating, it’s just the last step to make sure everything is as it should be. You’re just giving the house one final look before you officially become a brand new homeowner.

Most home buyers get carried away by the excitement of their new house and forget to really take their time with the walk though. It can feel like a formality that you can just breeze through in 5 minutes while you celebrate, but it is a vital (if small) step in the closing process. So stay focused and don’t forget these crucial things on your final checklist.


1. Garbage disposal and exhaust fans. During the final walk though you will want to try every light switch, outlet, sink, toilet and appliance to be sure it’s working correctly. But what most people forget to pay special attention to is the kitchen. Make sure you run the garbage disposal and any exhaust fans to make sure they run smoothly. The kitchen is possibly the most used room in your house so you don’t want any surprises the first time you go to cook dinner in your new home.


2. Inspect the garage. 
Don’t limit your home check up to the house; take a walk though the garage. Check garage door openers and any circuit breakers located in there.  If the garage door has a code, make sure you know it. If there are any personal items left by the seller, be sure they are removed. You want a fresh start when you buy your new home and having to clean up after the previous owners is just one more hassle you don’t need. The garage is the most likely place seller’s will leave unwanted junk and clutter they were too lazy to dispose of.


3. Make sure the things you negotiated for are present and unchanged. During closing there are hundreds of negotiations. What appliances are included in the homes sale? Is the seller paying to have the floors redone? Will the fixtures be staying? Bring along your contract so you have a reference sheet for what should be present in the house and the condition it should be in. If your agent negotiated for a washer and dryer, this is the time to make sure the seller made good on their promise.


4. Look out for any new damages. Not only do you need to check off your list to make sure everything you negotiated is present, be sure you look closely for any new damages.  Are there any new scratches on the floor from when the couch got dragged out? Did the wall paint get scrapped during moving? Don’t forget to be detail oriented, this is your last chance to have the seller’s full and complete attention. Once you sign the paperwork, your seller is moved out and moving on.

Agents - What else do you advise your buyers to look for during the final walk through?

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First Team Real Estate® is the largest independent brokerage in Southern California and voted the #1 Real Estate Company by the OC Register's Best of Orange County in 2011, 2012, and 2013


  • Comment Link FirstTeamRealEstate Monday, 27 January 2014 17:05 posted by FirstTeamRealEstate

    @Liz That's a great point about taking photos. With smart phones today, snapping some pictures as evidence is easier than ever.

  • Comment Link Liz Horford Friday, 24 January 2014 17:17 posted by Liz Horford

    Take photos on your phone at the original inspection to guard from sellers switching out the appliances for older or less expensive units just before closing. Take photos of new damage, unfinished projects, trash etc. to bring to the closing. PHOTOS ARE MUCH MORE EFFECTIVE THAN JUST TAKING NOTES.

  • Comment Link Barbara Thursday, 23 January 2014 18:35 posted by Barbara

    Make sure you have keys to everything, including the mailbox key if there's a lock on the mailbox.

  • Comment Link Andrea Gaume Thursday, 23 January 2014 17:57 posted by Andrea Gaume

    The final inspection is not the time to test appliances, affirm negotiated repairs are complete or flush toilets to test. Clients are best served if written in their repairs contract that ALL repairs are to be competed 2 weeks PRIOR to closing and ALL repair receipts are made available at the same time. I have always seen the final inspect to yes affirm all is as should be with regard to "unforeseen" circumstances only. Such as acts of GOD i.e. broken pipes subsequent flooding due to the hard freeze prior to closing, trees fallen on the home during the wind storm prior to closing or vandalism. Discovering negotiated repairs 24 hours or less prior to closing only makes for unnecessary stress for all involved AND may compromise your Buyer client who may be willing to accept the Seller neglect just to get into the home as planned.

  • Comment Link FirstTeamRealEstate Thursday, 23 January 2014 17:34 posted by FirstTeamRealEstate

    @Terrance That's great advice for home buyers!

  • Comment Link Thursday, 23 January 2014 17:25 posted by

    As valuable as this is... if a version was available to print w/o pics, that would be even more "user friendly!"

  • Comment Link Terrence Edelman Thursday, 23 January 2014 16:34 posted by Terrence Edelman

    If work was done as a part of the inspections and negotiations, you should ask to see paid invoices. i.e. wood rot repairs, roof fixes, leaky pipes, etc. All good trades people will provide a receipt.

  • Comment Link FirstTeamRealEstate Wednesday, 22 January 2014 19:08 posted by FirstTeamRealEstate

    Your second point is very good. Although the final walk through isn't an inspection you should treat it like one.

  • Comment Link agentcampus Wednesday, 22 January 2014 11:30 posted by agentcampus

    During final walk-throughs, people should:

    1. Review the contract both parties have agreed upon.
    2. If possible, do another quick inspection. DIY would be great.
    3. If you had repair jobs before, make sure that these are now fixed.

    Having your own checklist would be easier to determine what you should look after during final walk-throughs, making you sure on the house the you are going to purchase before you sign the contracts.

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