Real Estate Blog

The final walkthrough before you buy a home

Buying a home requires a lot of diligence and a lot of steps. But perhaps one of the most important of these is a final walkthrough. Before you sign on the dotted line, always ensure your agent allows you to do a final walkthrough in your soon-to-be new home.

What should you check for during your final walkthrough? That’s not an easy question to answer. Every home is different but there are some general things you should look for. First, if you specified that you required the seller to do certain repairs (new windows, a new roof, fix a leaky faucet, fix a broken tile – anything, big or small) the final walkthrough is the time to ensure that those repairs have actually been done.

Along the same lines, be sure that anything that you and the seller agreed would be included in the sale (such as appliances, fixtures, etc.) is still in the house. It’s not unheard of for a seller to agree to leave certain items and then, whether accidentally or maliciously, neglect to leave then as agreed. Your real estate agent can provide you with a copy of the purchase agreement, which will outline all of the things on which you are the seller agreed.

You should also check for things like: Do the light switches all work? Do the faucets work as they should? Is there adequate water pressure? Does the hot water work? Do the toilets flush? Also check to ensure that all windows open and close properly, that any doors close properly and that all door handles are in good working order.

If you are buying the appliances in the kitchen, always be sure they work properly, too. Open the fridge. Does the light come on? Is the interior cold? Turn on the oven and set the timer. Turn on the microwave. In the laundry room, always be sure that the washer and dryer come on and that the laundry tub drains effectively. Be sure you are able to hear the furnace (or air conditioning) cut in. If not, be sure you switch the unit on and off to be sure it works. Be sure there are no loose stair rails and that there is no water or damp smell in the basement.

The final walkthrough is about making sure that everything in the house is as it should be. It can sometimes be months between when you first look at the house and make an offer and when you actually do the final walkthrough, so things can very easily change. Now is the time to look at your new home with fresh eyes. It may help to bring along an impartial party to help you look for things that you might miss. It can be tempting to say “Oh, I won’t worry about that at this point,” but don’t think that way. Your seller agreed to fix the issues and they are contractually bound to do so. Be sure they are holding up their end of this very expensive deal.

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