You’re almost to the finish line of the closing process. Before signing on the dotted line, it’s important to exercise due diligence and complete a final walk through of your future home.
Don’t start fantasizing about possible furniture arrangements during your final walk through. This is your last chance to ensure everything is in working condition and up to snuff according to your contract. If you aren’t thorough, you could miss something that leads to repairs down the road and therefore, unexpected costs in addition to your new mortgage payments.
Here’s what buyers should do to prepare for and complete the final walk through:
Schedule the final walk through
To ensure the condition of the home is what you expect before transferring its title, schedule a final walk through about a week before the actual closing date. Budget at least an hour of your time for this task.
Bring your contract and a camera
While walking through the home, it’s a good idea to bring your contract as well as a camera. Use the contract to verify that the terms match your agreement, and use the camera to back up any disputes you may need to discuss with photos.
Bring your realtor
Don’t do the walk through alone – your realtor should be there to answer your questions and to direct you through the process.
Ensure all requested repairs, if any, are finished
During the home inspection process, you may have noticed an issue with the home such as pest control or a need to update the wiring, plumbing, or HVAC. As part of negotiations, you could have asked that the seller fix the problem prior to closing, or, you may have negotiated simply lowering the purchase price of your home.
When you complete the final walk through, all agreed upon repairs should be finished.
Complete this checklist during the final walkthrough
- Check the status of agreed upon repairs
- Make sure no unwanted items have been left behind by the seller
- Turn all light fixtures off and on
- Flush all toilets
- Test all water faucets – including showerheads
- Do they produce hot water?
- Do they spray water?
- Do they leak water when in the “off” position?
- Confirm there is no mold, especially under sinks.
- Laundry room
- Open and close all windows and doors
- Test all outlets – bringing a cell phone and charger is a good idea
- Verify all major appliances are working including:
- Dishwasher room
- Check for household warranties you asked the seller to leave behind – such as a warranty for the for the dishwasher or refrigerator, or a more general home warranty.
- Request utility information from your realtor, or the seller if they are present for the walk through. It’ll make the transfer of information during your move much easier, and also ensure there are no outstanding utility bills.
- Test garage doors, exhaust fans, and garbage disposal
- Turn heat/AC on and off (even if it’s freezing cold or boiling hot that day, verify that both systems are working!)
- Check ceilings, walls, and floors for damage
- Check the exterior of the home, storm windows, and screens
- Make sure no agreed upon items are missing since the last time you entered the home, according to your contract (such as a chandelier, furniture, favorite shrubbery, or appliances). It sounds weird – but sometimes plants go missing because the previous owner has dug them up.
- Look for signs of pests – you may have already done this in addition to your home inspection.