One of the most important steps in the home buying process is the final walkthrough. Many homebuyers don't pay enough attention to the final walkthrough because they are too excited about finally closing on a house especially if it's taken a while to find the right house for them. However, this is your chance to make sure that everything about the house is as it's supposed to be as it was agreed upon with the seller. You don't want to sign your name on the dotted line only to find that there are serious issues that have developed since the home inspection was done that are going to cost you an arm and a leg to fix. The following are some tips to help you do your final walkthrough:

When to Schedule the Final Walkthrough

Typically, you'll want to schedule your final walkthrough a day before the closing. This way, you reduce the odds of anything happening to the property between when the walkthrough occurs and when the closing occurs. However, it's often suggested that you do two walkthroughs. One should be done a week prior to the closing. This gives you time to find any problems and speak to the seller about them. The seller will then have some time to fix the problems, thereby not delaying the scheduled closing date. You'll then do the final walkthrough the day before the closing to see if those issues were fixed.

The Agreement

First of all, you should look for everything that you and the seller spoke about and agreed upon. You'll need to bring your contract, home inspection report and the disclosure form of the seller's property condition in order to make sure everything checks out as it is officially written. You'll also want to keep any verbal agreements in mind when doing the walkthrough. For example, if the seller told you that they would leave certain window treatments or light fixtures, such as a chandelier, then you'll want to make sure these items are present. Also be sure to note items that you don't want. Some sellers will leave things they don't want and hope that you'll just deal with them, or they'll simply forge them, whether it's a bookcase or cans of paint. It's the seller's responsibility to remove these things, so take note of them.

What to Look For

The following are some of the things that you should look for when going through the house and around the property:

 

  • Turn on all the lights in every room to make sure they work.
  • Check all of the appliances to ensure that they are functioning properly.
  • Turn on the heat and air conditioning to make sure they work.
  • Inspect the doors and windows to ensure they operate properly and aren't damaged.
  • Turn on all the faucets and make sure that there are no water leaks.
  • Flush all the toilets to ensure they operate properly.
  • Visually inspect the walls, floors and ceilings for potential damage or issues.
  • Turn on all the exhaust fans to make sure they are in working condition.
  • Check to see if the agreed upon repairs have been made.
  • Test the garage doors.
  • Do a visual inspection of the home's exterior. Make sure the siding is in good condition and that the roof isn't missing shingles especially if it's stormed recently.

If you do find any problems in the house, whether they are repairs that haven't been made or new issues that have popped up, have your agent speak with the seller's agent about a solution before the scheduled closing date.