A final walk though is one of the last steps in the closing process and can be completed hours before you sign the final paper work or a few days prior. The final walk through is not a formal inspection and it’s not a basis for negotiating, it’s just the last step to make sure everything is as it should be. You’re just giving the house one final look before you officially become a brand new homeowner. Our company also encourages the original inspector to come to the final walk thru with us, since they can check to see if repairs were legally fixed as per contract. Some inspectors do this and some do not, so you may want to ask while shopping for an inspector.
Most home buyers get carried away by the excitement of their new house and forget to really take their time with the walk though. It can feel like a formality that you can just breeze through in 5 minutes while you celebrate, but it is a vital (if small) step in the closing process. So stay focused and don’t forget these crucial things on your final checklist.
1. Garbage disposal and exhaust fans. During the final walk though you will want to try every light switch, outlet, sink, toilet and appliance to be sure it’s working correctly. But what most people forget to pay special attention to is the kitchen. Make sure you run the garbage disposal and any exhaust fans to make sure they run smoothly. The kitchen is possibly the most used room in your house so you don’t want any surprises the first time you go to cook dinner in your new home.
2. Inspect the garage. Don’t limit your home check up to the house; take a walk though the garage. Check garage door openers and any circuit breakers located in there. If the garage door has a code, make sure you know it. If there are any personal items left by the seller, be sure they are removed. You want a fresh start when you buy your new home and having to clean up after the previous owners is just one more hassle you don’t need. The garage is the most likely place seller’s will leave unwanted junk and clutter they were too lazy to dispose of.
3. Make sure the things you negotiated for are present and unchanged. During closing there are hundreds of negotiations. What appliances are included in the homes sale? Is the seller paying to have the floors redone? Will the fixtures be staying? Bring along your contract so you have a reference sheet for what should be present in the house and the condition it should be in. If your agent negotiated for a washer and dryer, this is the time to make sure the seller made good on their promise.
4. Look out for any new damages. Not only do you need to check off your list to make sure everything you negotiated is present, be sure you look closely for any new damages. Are there any new scratches on the floor from when the couch got dragged out? Did the wall paint get scrapped during moving? Don’t forget to be detail oriented, this is your last chance to have the seller’s full and complete attention. Once you sign the paperwork, your seller is moved out and moving on.