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The Final Walkthrough Before Closing Checklist And Tips
Dated: December 21 2021
As you prepare to finalize a home purchase, there’s an important step to take before the closing: the final walkthrough. This personal inspection helps ensure that the home you committed to on paper is in relatively identical condition to when you first visited, and that the seller is compliant with the terms of your real estate contract.
What is the final walkthrough before closing?
A final walkthrough is an opportunity for you, as the homebuyer, to visit and assess the property you’re purchasing before the closing. The goal of the visit is to ensure the home is in the same condition it was when you agreed to buy it.
“It’s also an opportunity for you to ensure that the seller has moved out or substantially moved out, and that the seller did not cause any damage during the move-out,” adds Lisa Okasinski, a real estate attorney and owner of Okasinski Law PLC, based in Detroit.
This visit is important, as it allows you to assess whether the seller has met your interpretation of the purchase agreement and removed all their personal property, explains David North, broker/owner of Realtrua in Redmond, Washington.
“This is also the time to confirm that non-subjective contractual obligations of the seller, such as specific repairs, have been met,” North says.
Final walkthrough checklist: What to look for
There are several items you should confirm during the final walkthrough of the property. Okasinski and Elizabeth Grimes, an attorney with Ligris + Associates PC in Wellesley, Massachusetts, recommend the following checklist:
The seller’s belongings have been fully moved out.
Any repairs that the seller promised would be done have been completed.
All appliances that the purchase agreement specified would remain are in proper working order.
The seller left copies of all manuals and instructions for appliances and fixtures.
Door and window locks are fully functioning.
The HVAC systems (furnace, air conditioning, etc.) are working properly.
All faucets are working, toilets flush properly and there are no plumbing leaks.
All walls, ceilings and doorways are structurally intact and not damaged from moving.
The yard is free of any debris or damage.
The seller left the garage door openers and keys in the home or with their agent.
“Cleanliness, completion of repairs, any changes to the condition of the property from the time of the sales contract, presence of all items that are contractually included in the sale and removal of items not included in the sale should all be checked during your final walkthrough,” North advises.
When is the final walkthrough?
The final walkthrough commonly take places 24 to 48 hours before closing. The home purchase agreement typically contains a provision allowing for the walkthrough, and it might specify the window of time in which it can occur.
“I always suggest to my clients to schedule the final walkthrough on the morning of the closing so that they are getting a last look to make sure the property is in good condition prior to signing closing paperwork,” Grimes says.
What to bring to the final walkthrough
You are not required to bring anything with you to the final walkthrough, but you might want to bring a checklist (either on paper or your phone) that you can mark off during your visit. Your real estate agent and/or attorney might also be present with you during the final walkthrough.
Ranked in the top 1% of all agents valley wide and named one of the Palm Springs Life Top Realtors for 2019, 2020, and 2021; Will is an Associate Broker/Team Leader of the WILL COOK GROUP with Keller ....
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