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Maximizing the Benefits of Your Final Walk-Through Before Home Purchase

The final walk-through before the closing of a new home purchase is a critical step that should not be overlooked or rushed. This is your last chance as a prospective buyer to verify that all conditions of the agreement have been met and to ensure that the property is exactly as you expect it to be before taking ownership.

The final walk-through is a pivotal moment in the home buying process, typically scheduled just before the closing. This step allows buyers to inspect the property thoroughly to confirm that it matches the conditions agreed upon in the purchase agreement. It's an opportunity to verify that repairs have been completed, that all included items are present and in good condition, and that the house is ready for you to purchase.

Checklist for an Effective Final Walk-Through

  1. Plan Ahead: Allocate ample time for your final walk-through, ideally the day before your closing. This timing allows any last-minute issues to be addressed by the seller or lender promptly. Equip yourself with your contract, and the home inspection report for reference.

  2. Verify Repairs: Confirm that all agreed-upon repairs have been completed. It’s advisable to have these checked by a home inspector, possibly one who inspected the house initially. This is even more important if some repairs are hard to assess or see (e.g. roof, AC performance, etc.). If you wish to hire the home inspector to do a re-inspection at the walk through, it needs to be scheduled in advance to ensure that they are available at your chosen time/date.

  3. Inventory Included Items: Ensure that all items that were part of the home sale, such as appliances, light fixtures, and furniture, are present and in the condition you last observed them.

  4. Functional Testing: Test appliances included in the sale to ensure they function correctly. Check all light switches, outlets (using a phone charger could help), HVAC systems, and other utilities to ensure everything operates as it should. Also check the garage door, pool and other key systems to make sure proper operation.

  5. Plumbing Integrity: Run water in all sinks, check the pressure and temperature, and flush toilets to ensure all plumbing is in working order. Examine areas for any leaks, signs of water damage, or mold, especially around showers and under sinks.

  6. Doors and Windows: Check all doors and windows to make sure they open, close, and lock securely. Assess the condition of screens, storm windows, and the integrity of weather stripping and insulation.

  7. Inspect Structural Elements: Look closely at ceilings and floors for any signs of water damage, unusual cracks, or other wear that might have occurred.

  8. Evaluate the Exterior: Don't overlook the landscaping—check that all decorative or functional vegetation is intact. Sometimes, sellers may remove plants or shrubs they wish to keep, which should have been clarified prior to the final walk-through.

  9. Content Removal: Open up drawers, closets and other closed spaces to make sure everything that should have been removed from the home gets removed.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your final walk-through is thorough and effective, helping you avoid any unpleasant surprises after closing on your new home. Remember, this is not just a formality, but a critical last step in ensuring that your new home meets all your expectations.


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