Final Walk Through Expectations

The final walk through before closing raises a lot of expectations.

Real estate buyers and final walk throughBuyers need to schedule time for the final walk through prior to closing on their home.  It’s important to manage expectations with what actually happens during a walk through.  The only reason to do a final check is to make sure the property is in similar condition as it was the day you signed the purchase contract.  

The final walk through doesn’t replace the home inspection, which should have happened within a couple weeks of buying the property.

By the time you are ready for the final walk through, repairs that were negotiated earlier should be completed (hopefully you should have receipts already) and you can use the time to verify completed repairs and also check to see no major damage occurred when sellers moved out. Assuming they have already moved.

Take a few minutes during the final walk through to run water, flush toilets, check electricity and, weather permitting, test the AC and/or furnace.  If appliances were part of the contract- make sure they weren’t removed from the property and are functioning.

It’s also a good time to inspect flooring, walls for unusual wear and tear that might have happened during the move. It’s not unusual to find a few scuff marks and holes in the walls from picture hooks.  Paint on the walls may look funny because furniture or wall hangings blocked dust and light for long periods of time.  However, buyers shouldn’t expect to see walls with giant holes, carpet removed or torn, huge gouges in the hardwood or lots of personal items and trash left behind.

Personally, I’m not a fan of last minute negotiations but if the property is no longer in the same condition, buyers need to negotiate fixes prior to closing.

 The fix can be withholding money at closing (escrow) to pay for repairs and cleanup or delay the closing until everything is resolved.  Lenders don’t like delays or escrows so buyers need to talk their agent on the best ways to resolve the issues.  Before you do anything ridiculous-like walk away from closing- talk to your attorney!

The bottom line for buyers is to make time for a final walk through right before closing -because sellers usually don’t fix problems after the closing documents are signed.