You found your dream home, struck a deal, and are just about ready to move in and start your new life. Before that happens though you’ve got one more thing to take care of: the final walkthrough!
What Is A Final Walkthrough?
Basically, it’s your final chance to check the entire home before the deal officially closes. You can spend the time to thoroughly inspect every room, appliance, nook, and cranny to make sure everything is in working order, requested repairs have been completed, and you’re getting exactly what you paid for.
It’s important to know that every walkthrough is different because every home is unique! This is why it’s important to always come prepared and with an expert at your side.
When Does A Final Walkthrough Happen?
Your final walkthrough should be scheduled as close to the final closing date as possible. The seller should have most (if not all) of their belongings removed, so you can view the home as a blank canvas. This also ensures that no moving damage occurs, leaving you with a nasty surprise.
If the seller does have any items still in the house, their agent will often attend the walkthrough as well. However, most of the time it will be just the buyer and their real estate agent who can help them in addressing issues and make sure all elements are verified.
What To Look For
Here is a good base checklist to have for your final walkthrough. Please note: as mentioned above, every walkthrough is unique, so be sure to create a more customized checklist with your real estate agent.
Did the seller agree to make any repairs before closing? This is your last chance to make sure they did. In addition, with most (or all) of the furniture removed, it can be easier to spot any defects or needed repairs you may have missed. Test everything the seller agreed to fix.
You’ll also want to ask the seller for the receipts and warranties for all the work they completed. This will ensure you know who to call if something breaks again. It will also save you money as most companies offer limited-time warranties in the event a repair wasn’t completed correctly.
This one goes hand in hand with the repairs made to the home itself.
Turn on and test every single appliance in the house, with no exceptions. The oven, dishwasher, washing machine, dryer, garbage disposal, HVAC, flush every toilet, run the water on every sink, and more.
Also, for things like the dishwasher, don’t just turn it on and back off! Put a few dirty dishes in and run a cycle while you check out the rest of the house to make sure it actually cleans the dishes!
3. Check For Mold
Water damage and mold can snowball into expensive problems if not addressed.
Mold can occur in pretty much every room in the house, including the living room and bedrooms, but take extra care when looking in the kitchen and bathrooms.
For an extensive list of places to look for mold, check out this article.
4. Make Sure The Home Is Secure
Whether it’s old-fashioned locks or a modern security system, this is the time to make sure your new home is safe and secure.
Check to make sure all the doors and windows lock properly, there are no holes or defects in screens, and test all the sensors and alarms if you do have a full security system.
This includes lights and outlets!
Turn on every light and test every plug. You could buy a multimeter for this, but walking around and plugging your charger into every outlet to see if it starts charging is a good way to make sure they’re all working properly.
To once again hammer the point home: Your final walkthrough will look different from any other! Make sure you work with your real estate agent, so you don’t miss anything!