Buying a house is one of the most significant decisions you will ever make. As such, it’s crucial to be sure that everything is in order before closing on the home. One way to feel confident about what you’re buying is by doing a final walkthrough before signing on the dotted line.
While the final walkthrough is an inspection, but it’s different than the home inspection a qualified home inspector conducts. This is your chance as the home buyer to cross the T’s and dot the I’s before committing to buying.
What is the final home walkthrough?
The final home walkthrough is a quick home inspection of a home that typically takes place the day of – or a couple of days before closing. It’s a way for you to not only make sure everything is in working order, but it also allows you to give the sellers feedback about any issues that came up during your inspection.
Of course, different states have their own rules and regulations for verifying the condition of a property, so there could be slight variations from state to state.
The importance of the final walkthrough
The final walkthrough confirms that the home is in the condition agreed upon in the contract. As a buyer, you want to ensure you’re getting exactly what you settled to in the contract, and this is your chance to do so.
Don’t take this walkthrough lightly, as this is the last stop before closing.
What do I mean by getting exactly what you agreed to?
Well, for example, let’s say the home inspector noted cracked siding on the home. The buyer and seller then negotiated this repair and amended the contract during the option period to reflect that the siding would be replaced or repaired by a qualified professional. The seller would then coordinate with a professional to do the repairs before closing. You could take the seller’s word for it that it’s fixed, or you could verify it.
The walkthrough is the time to identify those issues and make sure they’re fixed.
Did you negotiate a professional cleaning? Are the previous owners wholly moved out?
This walkthrough is your last chance to get eyes on the property before you or your lender hand over the money.
Who does the final walkthrough?
Typically, the buyer and the buyer’s real estate agent conduct a final walkthrough. If the buyer isn’t available, at the very least, the buyer’s agent will perform the walkthrough.
The buyer’s agent will schedule a time with the current owner and their agent to do the walkthrough. At that time, the buyer and buyer agent will meet at the property and walk through it one last time.
What does a typical final walkthrough consist of, and how long will it take?
There is not necessarily a prescribed checklist for the walkthrough. Still, buyers and their agents should verify the home’s general condition and ensure everything agreed upon in the contract is in place.
Just like the first house showing, you’ll start at the front door and walk through the home, checking the cleanliness and condition of everything.
Keep in mind you’re not looking for new stuff to have fixed (closing is shortly after this walkthrough); you’re looking for already agreed-upon things.
In its entirety, the walkthrough can take anywhere between 15 minutes and an hour. It doesn’t take long at all. Of course, there may be some instances in which it does take longer to complete.
What happens if there are issues found during the final walkthrough?
So, you walked through the home and noticed the owners took the refrigerator with them. However, the fridge was noted in the One to Four Family Residential Contract that all appliances will be conveyed with the sale.
We have a problem.
At this time, the buyer’s agent will call the listing agent and raise the issue. The seller can remedy the problem in several ways. They could return the refrigerator, replace it, or provide an allowance for the new owners to purchase a refrigerator.
Regardless of what is negotiated to remedy the issues, these have to be amended to the contract.
Often, if there are issues at the last minute and the contract needs to be amended, the closing date may get delayed a few days. Not always the case, but it’s relatively common. Closing dates get changed all the time.
The final walkthrough is an essential step in the purchasing process. It’s your last chance to ensure that everything has been completed and all issues have been resolved before you buy a home.
If there are any problems, it’s up to you and the seller to come together and negotiate a solution or amend the contract.