By Rachel Collar
You have found your new home and you are so excited to move in that you cannot wait to complete the final steps before closing! While you daydream about arranging your furniture and putting your dishes into the cabinets, make sure you are giving proper attention to the very important final walkthrough of your new palace. This should take place after the home inspection and about a week before closing. Prepare yourself by getting plenty of sleep for mental clarity, bringing a support system to help out, and packing a few small tools to aid in your walkthrough. Being very careful to check every detail will ensure you have a happy homecoming when the keys are finally yours.
When completing your final walkthrough, make sure you check every appliance, window, door and electrical outlet. Check all faucets and flush all toilets. Open every cabinet. Bring someone with you and task him or her with checking a particular area or category. Though your inspection has already occurred, there could be problems that may have come up since. You may find that a faucet that worked during inspection is no longer working after the seller removed a water filter improperly. It could happen that a roof leak has caused water damage that was not visible before. You can use a phone and charger or outlet tester to check every outlet in the house. Take a notebook with you and write the name of each room on each page to record any issues.
Are there any items that the seller agreed to leave behind such as light fixtures, shelving or outdoor structures? Be thorough in checking that these items are in place and intact. A specific area that always gets overlooked is landscaping. Walk the yard while referencing photos from your previous visit to ensure that no trees or shrubbery or built-in patio items were removed if the agreement was for them to stay. Use your notebook and camera or phone to document any issues. Be very specific.
After the seller’s belongings have been removed, check all storage areas and nooks for items left behind. You do not want to be responsible for throwing out a box of old paint left in the garage or heavy crates full of magazines shoved in an attic corner. You also do not want to have to communicate with the seller or have them come by to retrieve items while you are trying to make the home your own. Check walls again to make sure no damage occurred while moving out. It is not uncommon for television sets to leave gaping holes in walls or for a sofa to take out a chunk of a doorframe on its way out. Make sure any potential issues are properly repaired, and not just patched up to provide temporary visual appeal.
It is very important that you schedule your final walkthrough with plenty of advance time for repairs to take place. Remember, you may need to schedule an additional walkthrough to double check that all loose ends are tied. Giving yourself an extra week is often easier than rescheduling a closing due to a dispute. Your home is your investment and making reasonable requests for repairs or changes is part of the real estate process. Do not let your eagerness to settle in cause you to settle for less.
Walkthrough Tools Checklist:
Phone and charger or outlet tester
Notebook and pen
Camera or Smartphone
Paperwork or contracts