A final walkthrough is an essential step in a real estate transaction. To get the most out of it, make sure you understand the purchase contract terms.
Most homebuyers have not been on the property since they attended the inspections on the home.
There are several reasons to do one final walkthrough before signing the closing documents on the house.
First, the buyer needs to make sure the home is in the same condition as when they made their offer. It can be 30-45 days since the buyer saw the house. Generally, there are no issues, but occasionally we see something that the seller should address.
Check Things the Contract Specifies
When walking through the home, you will need to determine if all the items included with the sale remain in the house.
Check if any damage occurred from moving the seller’s belongings out of the home. And be sure the seller has removed everything that should be removed.
You will also want to check any mechanical systems to ensure they are still working, like heat or air conditioning.
Look for any leaky pipes or water infiltration that may have occurred.
Allow yourself enough time to pay attention and check on things.
If you requested any repairs as part of your initial offer or due to the home inspection, you should verify that they are complete. In addition, you should request a copy of all paid invoices for these repairs. The receipt is usually a sufficient indication that the work is complete, and you know whom to call if there is a problem.
What If You Find a Problem?
If there is a problem, it may or may not cause a delay in closing.
If it’s small and something you can quickly fix, you may just want to ignore it. If it is something expensive and extensive, you probably don’t want to ignore it.
There are different approaches to address issues. If you are doing the final walkthrough right before settlement, it’s wise to go to the settlement table. You can request that enough money be set aside in an escrow account held by a third party to fix the problem. Those funds cover the repairs, and excess funds go to the seller.
If you do your final walkthrough a day or two before closing, you can request that the seller remedy any issues.
The buyer and seller can resolve most issues quickly. However, if a delay of settlement should be necessary, the terms of such a delay need to be spelled out in an addendum to your contract.
You can not use a walkthrough to change the terms of a contract. However, if a walk-through shows that the terms of your agreement were not met, you will need to negotiate a mutually acceptable resolution.