The final walk-through is your last opportunity to inspect the property before finalizing the sale.
Typically, a final walk through is done 24 hours before closing.
A walk through should take anywhere from thirty minutes to an hour to complete. Factoring all the time and money you have already invested, consider it well spent.
Make sure that the seller has not left behind excess trash, unwanted furniture or changed the condition of the property since you last saw it.
Three main areas to focus on:
- Repairs – Make sure all agreed upon repairs have been completed
- New Damages – Did the seller damage anything in the process of moving out? (scratched floors? holes in the walls?)
- Exclusions and Inclusions – Did the seller leave or take anything that they should not have (built-in items such as cabinets, dish washers, wall-mounted tv stands…)
Click here for more information on inclusions and exclusions.
Below is a detailed checklist to help you inspect the property:
- Bathroom – Check the faucets, bathtubs and showers for visible plumbing issues. Do the toilets flush properly? Are there any signs of slow drains or leaks?
- Kitchen – Check the garbage disposal and each of the the lights. Do the appliances all work? Is there any sign of leakage, mold or damage? Does the dishwasher run through an entire cycle? Does the disposal work?
- Cabinets and Drawers – Do the drawers and cabinets open and close smoothly? Is there any missing hardware?
- Floors and Stairs – Are there missing tiles, damaged linoleum, or floorboards? Are the stairs in good condition? Are all rails secure?
- Insects and Rodents – Are there any sign of an insect infestation or rodent droppings under the sinks?
- Miscellaneous – Do all of the doors open and close easily (and do you have all of the keys)? Do you have any owners manuals or warranties? Do the fireplace dampers work?
- Outside – Check the sprinkler system and other items such built-in grills. Do a walk around the yard. Is the landscape what you expected? Are porches and patios undamaged? Are there signs of foundation issues? Are there any visible problems with septic systems or outside faucets?
- Fencing– are any panels or sections missing or broken?
- Pools and Hot-tubs – Do all of the components work? Is there a cover? Are there signs of damage such as cracking?
- Garage – Do you have all of the keys and or remotes? Does the garage door open and close properly? Do you have any needed alarm or access codes? Is there excess clutter or unwanted items? Have items such as shelves been removed? (Shelving and other bolted and built in items are considered fixtures are part of the home and excluded from being removed.)
- Windows – Are there missing or broken panes? Are there any missing shutters? Do the windows open and close smoothly?
- Mold – Are there signs of mold in closets, under sinks, or around appliances such as a refrigerator and water heater? Do the water heaters work?
- Heating and Cooling Systems – Does the thermostat work properly? Are there obvious signs problems with the heating or cooling systems?
- Plumbing – Does the hot water heater work? Check for leaks and signs of mold, water damage or deterioration (such as peeling paint wallpaper and stains)?
- Washer and Dryer – Do a quick run through and make sure that they are working properly (including water temperatures and spin cycles).
- Attic – Are there signs of leaks or rodent activity or damages to the roof or studs? Is the insulation in good condition?
- Electrical systems – Do all of the outlets work? Check the fuse-box. Are all of the fuses labeled? Are there any signs of frayed or otherwise damaged wiring?
- Lights and Fixtures – Are all fans, lights, chandeliers present?
- Play-sets – Check the condition of swings and other play-sets.
If you do come across a problem during a final walk through, you have a few options:
You can delay the sale until the issue is fixed or, if the situation is serious enough, you can walk away from the deal.
Think carefully before you exercise this option though. A small repair might not be worth scrapping the entire sale.
Try not to become overly emotional about any problems. Instead, focus on calmly addressing them and finding a resolution that works for both sides.