THE COMPLETE FINAL WALKTHROUGH CHECKLIST FOR HOME BUYERS
As you stand on the brink of homeownership, the excitement is palpable. Your journey is almost at its end, yet an essential step awaits your attention—the final walkthrough. This last endeavor is your chance to ensure that the canvas of your dream home is painted perfectly before you claim it as your own.
Did you know that a staggering 96% of home buyers feel more at ease when they conduct a thorough final walkthrough? It’s not just about peace of mind; it’s about ensuring your future haven meets your expectations. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or a seasoned homeowner, the final walkthrough checklist will guide you through the process, helping you spot even the tiniest details that could make a difference.
WHAT IS THE FINAL WALKTHROUGH?
A final walkthrough, often referred to as the “final inspection,” is a critical step in the home-buying process that takes place just before the closing of a real estate transaction. It is the home buyer’s last opportunity to thoroughly inspect the property they are about to purchase, ensuring that it is in the agreed-upon condition and that any negotiated repairs have been completed.
During the final walkthrough, the buyer, accompanied by their real estate agent, walks through the property to assess its overall condition and verify that all contractual terms have been met. This includes checking that any repairs or improvements requested as a result of the home inspection have been successfully addressed by the seller.
PREPARATION: ESSENTIAL TOOLS FOR A SEAMLESS WALKTHROUGH
Before you embark on this crucial mission, equip yourself with a few essentials that will serve as your compass through the walkthrough journey:
- Phone/Camera: Beyond capturing the sights of your new abode, your device becomes your investigative tool, documenting any concerns that might arise.
- Phone Charger: A charged phone is more than a luxury; it’s your testing tool for electrical outlets and more.
- Notepad and Pen: A classic combination that will enable you to jot down notes, questions, and observations during your walkthrough.
- Home Inspection Report: This valuable document will act as your reference point, reminding you of any flagged issues discovered during the inspection process.
- Home Purchase Agreement: The cornerstone of your purchase, this legally binding agreement contains the terms that both parties have consented to.
- List of Questions: Prepare a list of questions to ask your real estate agent or the seller, especially if there are any concerns you want to address directly.
- Calculator: If you need to make quick calculations, such as estimating costs for repairs or renovations, having a calculator can be helpful.
- Proof of Repairs: If repairs were agreed upon as part of the sale, bring any documents or receipts provided by the seller or contractors to prove that the repairs were completed as agreed.
- Tape Measure: A tape measure can come in handy to verify whether furniture or appliances will fit in certain spaces, or to check dimensions for any potential modifications.
VITAL ASPECTS TO SCRUTINIZE DURING YOUR FINAL WALKTHROUGH
Cleanliness and Condition: Your new home should greet you with freshness. Ensure that it’s presented in impeccable, broom-clean condition. Delve further to confirm that all negotiated repairs have been meticulously completed, and the evidence is backed by receipts. Dedicate a moment to inspecting your included appliances; they should not only be present but operational and ready to serve.
Attention to Detail: Fixtures and Finishes: While often overlooked, these subtle elements play a pivotal role. Verify that doorknobs, cabinet handles, and other fixtures are in their designated places. For those stepping into the world of new constructions, employ a keen eye to spot defects and any cosmetic imperfections.
Doors, Windows, and Locks: A smooth transition between spaces is made possible by functional doors and windows. Open and close doors; ensure windows slide without resistance. Validate that locks secure firmly, upholding your sense of safety.
Indoor Climate Control: Heating and Cooling Systems: Regardless of the weather outside, put the heating and cooling systems to the test. Ensuring their functionality is a paramount consideration for your comfort.
Illumination and Connectivity: Lighting and Electrical Outlets: A well-lit environment sets the stage for contentment. Assess the performance of light switches, and leverage your phone charger to examine electrical outlets around the property.
Surfaces and Beyond: Walls, Ceilings, and Floors: Scrutinize the foundations of your future haven. Check walls, ceilings, and floors for any blemishes, dents, or mold, particularly in areas that were concealed by furnishings.
Appliances and Plumbing: Venture behind the scenes to evaluate the functionality of appliances and plumbing. Test the garbage disposal’s responsiveness and ensure that exhaust fans function as expected. Run faucets to unveil any hidden plumbing concerns.
Bathroom Beautification: Zero in on bathrooms, spaces of both rejuvenation and function. Uncover any traces of mold, leaks, or water damage. A simple flush can unveil potential plumbing hiccups.
Garage and Security Savvy: If applicable, engage with the garage doors and familiarize yourself with security systems. A well-functioning garage door and robust security measures contribute to your overall peace of mind.
GUIDED WISDOM: PARTNERING WITH YOUR AGENT
Your real estate agent is more than a companion during this phase; they’re a fount of knowledge and support. Lean on their expertise as you navigate your final walkthrough. Ideally, schedule this crucial step after the seller’s departure, allowing you to explore the premises at your pace.
PARTING WISDOM: ENSURING A THOROUGH EXPERIENCE
Remember, the final walkthrough is not a substitute for a professional home inspection; it’s an opportunity to validate the agreed-upon condition of the property. Patiently explore every nook, embracing the chance to detect any unforeseen issues.
IN CONCLUSION: A SYMBOLIC TRANSITION
As your journey culminates, seize this moment to ensure your future nest aligns with your aspirations. The final walkthrough transcends a mere ritual; it’s your insurance against unwelcome surprises. With your agent’s wisdom and this exhaustive checklist by your side, step into your new realm with unshakable assurance.
ADDITIONAL FINAL WALKTHROUGH CHECKLISTING ITEMS
- Bring a Friend: Having a second set of eyes can be incredibly helpful in spotting potential issues you might overlook.
- Capture Everything: Take photos and videos during the walkthrough. This visual record can aid in discussions and serve as evidence if needed later.
- Run All Appliances: Don’t just glance at appliances—run the dishwasher, washing machine, dryer, and oven to ensure they function as expected.
- Check All Utilities: Turn on faucets, showers, and flush toilets while observing water pressure and drainage.
- Check Windows for Proper Seals: Ensure windows are sealed properly to prevent air leaks and moisture intrusion.
- Inspect Outdoor Areas: If your property includes a yard, walk around to ensure it’s in the condition you agreed upon.
- Test Safety Devices: Check smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and security alarms to ensure they are operational.
As you absorb these additional insights, your final walkthrough transforms from a mere formality to a vigilant exploration. Each step is a brushstroke, transforming your new house into a masterpiece of comfort and security.