Why You Should Do A Final Walkthrough When Moving Out

Although final walkthroughs aren’t home inspections, they’re just as important. This is the perfect opportunity for homebuyers to inspect a new home right before completing a purchase. The main purpose of this walkthrough is to make certain the property is in the exact condition you agreed to buy it, including all agreed-on repairs. It’s also a great opportunity to ensure nothing has gone wrong with the home since you last saw it.

The Importance of a Final Walkthrough

The final walkthrough is not required by law, but it is one of the most important steps when buying a new home. A final walkthrough allows homebuyers to make sure everything aligns with what they think they’re buying. It’s the last opportunity to ensure nothing has gone wrong due to the previous owner vacating the property. It’s also important to verify if any repairs were supposed to be made as a condition on the sale being completed.

The final walkthrough is your only opportunity between the first showing and home inspection to the moment they take possession of the property. So it guarantees that you’re accepting the home on the terms you agreed upon during closing.

Tips to Have The Perfect Final Walkthrough

As you’re doing your walkthrough, it’s common to feel under pressure to do it quickly. Keep these tips in mind to make the most out of your walkthrough.

1. Find Out Who Attends the Walkthrough

Typically, the buyer and the buyer’s agent are present in the final walkthrough. However, the seller or seller’s agent is rarely present. This gives the buyer the freedom to inspect the property at their leisure, without feeling pressured. However, keep in mind the final walkthrough is not a home inspection. So, don’t expect any engineers or architects to attend the walkthrough with you.

2. Schedule It Just Before Closing

In most cases, you can schedule the final walkthrough about 24 hours before the closing date. Work with your real estate agent and the seller’s agent when you can see the property vacant. When you schedule a walkthrough with the home still occupied, you might have difficulties seeing some minor issues or problems that might be easily missed.

3. Do a Second Walkthrough After Bad Weather

It might sound odd, but if you’re lucky enough to get bad weather before closing, see if you can schedule another walkthrough. Repeating the walkthrough can help you check for water intrusion, sinkholes or any damage you didn’t catch in the previous walkthrough.

4. Communicate Newfound Issues

If you find any significant problems in the final walkthrough, remember that it doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker. Communicating these issues to your agent and the seller might delay the closing by a few days, but it means you give the seller time to resolve the problem. If anything, you might be able to ask the seller for a credit at closing so you can handle the repairs after your agreed move-in day.

The Ultimate Final Walkthrough Checklist

On the day of the final walkthrough, it might be a good idea to print a walkthrough checklist and bring it with you to make sure you don’t miss anything. Read on for some of the big things to keep in mind during the walkthrough.

Inside The House

  • Check that all the windows and doors lock and unlock correctly. Verify that windows slide open easily. And, check that there aren’t any defects, tears or holes in the window screens.
  • Confirm that all appliances in the house are working as expected. Check the washing machine, dryer, garbage disposal and every appliance in the home, including toilets, showers and sinks.
  • Pay special attention to the toilet, the bathrooms, sink cabinets and refrigerators for mold. Inspect the moistest areas to ensure there isn’t any mold or problems.
  • Check all electrical systems and outlets, including all plate covers, to ensure no signs of damage.
  • Look for pests, such as termites, ants and rodents. Mouse droppings and bite marks are all signs of uninvited critters that you need to address.
  • Ensure all fixtures and anything attached to the home remain in the house.
  • Inspect floors and walls for any damage.
  • Test the thermostat and check out the HVAC units one more time.

Outside The House

  • Inspect the backyard and sure the landscaping is in order.
  • If the house has a gate, walk around the property and ensure the gate latches and unlatches.
  • If the house has a pool, inspect the pool and check for mildew, mold and lining damage. Test the pool gates and take note of any damage.
  • Check the home’s irrigation system to verify all sprinklers are working correctly.
  • Inspect any detached properties such as sheds or guest houses to verify they’re in good shape.
  • Test the garage door to ensure it opens and closes without issues and that all remote controls work fine.
  • Verify and check the state of any outdoor repairs agreed upon during the closing.