When it comes to buying or selling a home, there are a lot of terms and processes that can be confusing to those not familiar with the real estate industry. One of these processes is the final walk through, which is a crucial step in the homebuying process.
During the final walk through, the buyer has the opportunity to inspect the property one last time before closing to ensure that everything is in the condition agreed upon in the purchase contract. This can include checking for any repairs that were agreed upon, ensuring that all fixtures and appliances are in working order, and confirming that the property is in a clean and move-in ready state.
Why is the final walk through so important? This process is the last chance for the buyer to catch any issues before closing and to address them with the seller. If any issues are found during the final walk through, they can delay the closing or potentially even lead to the sale falling through.
Are you preparing for a final walk through as a buyer or seller? Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about this important step in the real estate process.
Why Is a Final Walk Through Important?
The final walk through is one of the most crucial steps of the real estate buying process. It is a last chance for the buyer to inspect the property before closing, ensuring that everything is in order and that there are no issues that need to be addressed before taking ownership. This final inspection can save buyers from unexpected expenses and potential headaches in the future.
During the final walk through, buyers should look for any damages that were not there during previous visits or that may have occurred during the moving process. The final walk through is also an opportunity to ensure that all agreed-upon repairs have been completed and that any personal property that was included in the sale is still present.
Another reason why the final walk through is so important is that it provides a chance for buyers to confirm that all the agreed-upon terms of the sale have been met. The final walk through is the last opportunity to make sure that the seller has completed all the repairs and changes that were agreed upon in the contract.
Ensures Property Condition
Identifies any issues: A final walk-through allows the buyer to ensure that any repairs agreed upon during the inspection process have been made and that the property is in the same condition as when the contract was signed.
Prevents surprises: Without a final walk-through, the buyer might not notice any damage or issues until they move into the property, leading to unexpected expenses and complications.
Gives leverage: In case of any issues, the final walk-through provides an opportunity for the buyer to negotiate with the seller for any necessary repairs or compensation before the closing takes place.
The final walk-through is an essential step in the home buying process as it ensures that the property condition meets the buyer’s expectations and prevents any surprises after closing. By identifying any issues, preventing surprises, and giving leverage to the buyer, the final walk-through helps to make sure that the buyer gets what they paid for.
When Should You Schedule a Final Walk Through?
Knowing when to schedule a final walk through is important to ensure that the property is in the same condition as it was during the home inspection. Generally, the walk through takes place a few days before closing, but the specific timing may depend on the seller’s and buyer’s agreement.
If you are the buyer, it’s important to schedule the final walk through as close to the closing date as possible to make sure that there have not been any major changes or damages to the property since the last time you saw it. In some cases, it may be necessary to schedule multiple walk-throughs to confirm that necessary repairs have been made.
If you are the seller, it’s important to schedule the final walk through once you have moved out and the property is completely empty. This will give the buyer a clear view of the property’s condition and allow them to verify that all agreed-upon repairs and maintenance have been completed.
In any case, it’s important to communicate clearly with the other party to ensure that the walk through is scheduled at a time that works for both parties and allows for a thorough inspection of the property.
Right Before Closing
Timing: The final walk-through should be scheduled as close to the closing as possible to ensure that the property is in the same condition as when the offer was accepted.
Preparation: Buyers should schedule the walk-through at least 24 hours before closing to allow time for any issues to be resolved before the closing appointment.
What to Expect: During the walk-through, buyers should bring a copy of the inspection report and make sure all repairs were completed to their satisfaction. They should also check that all agreed-upon items are still in the property, such as appliances, window treatments, and light fixtures.
Peace of Mind: Conducting the final walk-through can provide buyers with peace of mind that everything is in order before closing on the property.
After Repairs Are Completed
Another important time to schedule a final walk through is after any repairs have been completed. If the buyer requested repairs to be made as part of the home sale contract, it’s crucial to ensure that these repairs were done to their satisfaction before closing. The final walk through is an opportunity to verify that everything has been fixed according to the agreed-upon terms.
If the repairs weren’t completed as requested, the buyer can address the issue with the seller and their agent. This can delay the closing or, in some cases, result in the contract being terminated.
Even if the buyer waived their right to a home inspection, it’s still recommended to schedule a final walk through after repairs are completed. It’s possible that the repair work uncovered new issues that need to be addressed before closing.
What Should You Look for During a Final Walk Through?
Check for Repairs: Check if the agreed-upon repairs have been completed. If repairs were not completed, contact the seller to negotiate the terms.
Inspect the Property: Walk through the entire property and inspect it carefully for any damages that were not present during the previous visits. Look for leaks, mold, or any other issues that might have occurred.
Ensure Everything is in Working Order: Check that all appliances and systems are in working order, such as air conditioning, heating, and plumbing. Turn on faucets, flush toilets, and test light switches to make sure everything works correctly.
One of the main things to look for during a final walk through is any property damage. This includes any damage to the walls, ceilings, floors, or fixtures that was not there during your previous visit. Take note of any scratches, dents, or holes, and make sure to document them with photos or videos.
Be sure to check for any signs of water damage, such as mold or mildew, which can be caused by leaks in the plumbing or roof. Look for any signs of pests, such as rodents or insects, which can cause significant damage to the property. Check the windows and doors to ensure that they open and close properly and that the locks work.
If you do notice any property damage during the final walk through, make sure to bring it to the attention of the seller or their agent immediately so that it can be addressed before closing.
Appliances and Fixtures
Another important thing to check during the final walk through is the appliances and fixtures that are included in the sale of the property. Make sure that all appliances and fixtures are present and in good working order. Test each appliance to ensure that it is functioning properly, including the refrigerator, stove, dishwasher, and any other appliances that are included in the sale. Turn on all the lights and faucets to check that they are working as well.
If you notice that any appliance or fixture is not working, make a note of it and bring it up with the seller or their agent. You may be able to negotiate repairs or a credit to cover the cost of fixing the issue. Additionally, if any appliances or fixtures that were supposed to be included in the sale are missing, you’ll want to address this before closing.
Remember to check all appliances and fixtures, even if you don’t plan on using them right away. It’s better to catch any issues before closing so that they can be addressed in a timely manner.
What Happens if Issues Are Found During the Final Walk Through?
If issues are found during the final walk through, there are a few possible outcomes. First, the buyer and seller can agree to delay the closing until the issues are resolved. Second, the seller can offer the buyer a credit to cover the cost of the repairs. Third, the seller can agree to make the repairs before the closing.
If the issues are significant and cannot be resolved, the buyer may have the right to cancel the sale without penalty. However, this is only possible if the purchase agreement contains a contingency clause that allows the buyer to do so.
It’s important to note that the final walk through is not a home inspection and should not be used as a way to negotiate repairs or changes to the purchase agreement. It’s only meant to ensure that the property is in the same condition as it was when the purchase agreement was signed.
If issues are found during the final walk through, it’s important to communicate with your real estate agent and attorney to determine the best course of action.
Resolve Issues Before Closing
It’s important to resolve any issues found during the final walk through before closing to avoid any delays or complications. Depending on the severity of the issue, the resolution may vary. If the issue is minor, such as a missing light fixture or a broken blind, the seller may offer to fix it before closing. However, if the issue is major, such as a leaking roof or a malfunctioning HVAC system, the buyer may request a credit or a reduction in price to cover the cost of repairs.
It’s essential to document any issues found during the final walk through and communicate them to the seller or their agent promptly. The buyer’s agent should work with the seller’s agent to ensure that the necessary repairs or credits are agreed upon and executed before closing.
If the seller is unwilling or unable to resolve the issues, the buyer may have the option to back out of the sale, depending on the terms of the purchase agreement.
Delay Closing or Negotiate Repair Costs
When buying a home, one of the most stressful parts of the process can be the home inspection. This is the time when a professional inspector comes through the property and identifies any potential issues with the home. If the inspector finds issues that need to be addressed, the buyer has a few options. Two of the most common options are to delay closing or negotiate repair costs.
Delaying closing can give the buyer time to have repairs made before taking ownership of the property. This option may be ideal if the issues found are significant enough to warrant repairs but not serious enough to back out of the sale entirely. During this time, the seller may be responsible for making the repairs or may offer the buyer a credit to cover the costs of the repairs.
Another option is to negotiate repair costs. If the buyer is willing to take on the repairs themselves, they may be able to negotiate a lower price for the property. In some cases, the seller may also be willing to make repairs or offer a credit to cover the costs of repairs. However, it is important for the buyer to have a clear understanding of the cost of repairs before negotiating with the seller.
It’s important to note that delaying closing or negotiating repair costs may not always be feasible options. If the issues found during the home inspection are significant enough to make the property unlivable or too costly to repair, the buyer may need to back out of the sale entirely. In these cases, it may be in the buyer’s best interest to walk away from the property and continue their search elsewhere.
- Delaying closing can give time for repairs to be made
- Negotiating repair costs can result in a lower price for the property
- Backing out of the sale may be necessary if issues are too significant to repair
When it comes to buying a home, it’s important for buyers to understand their options when it comes to addressing issues found during a home inspection. Delaying closing or negotiating repair costs are two of the most common options, but they may not always be feasible depending on the severity of the issues found. Buyers should work closely with their real estate agent and home inspector to make the best decision for their unique situation.
How to Prepare for a Final Walk Through
Preparing for a final walk through can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. By following a few simple steps, you can ensure that the process goes smoothly and that you are fully prepared. First, make sure to schedule the walk through at a convenient time for both you and the buyer. You’ll want to have enough time to review the property and address any concerns.
Second, make a list of any repairs or touch-ups that need to be made before the walk through. This can include anything from fixing a leaky faucet to painting a room. Be sure to address these issues well in advance to give yourself enough time to complete the work. You’ll want the property to be in the best possible condition for the walk through.
Finally, gather all necessary documents and keys to hand over to the buyer. This can include any warranties, manuals, or receipts for repairs you have made, as well as any keys or codes needed to access the property. Having everything organized and ready to go will make the process much smoother for everyone involved.
Bring Your Contract and Inspection Report
When preparing for a final walk through, it’s important to bring along your contract and inspection report. These documents will provide you with valuable information that can help you during the walk through. Here are a few reasons why:
- Review the terms of the contract: By bringing your contract along, you can review the terms of the agreement with the buyer. This can help you ensure that everything is in order and that there are no surprises during the walk through.
- Check for any repairs that need to be made: Your inspection report will list any issues that were found during the inspection. By reviewing this report, you can make sure that any necessary repairs have been completed before the final walk through.
- Verify that all fixtures and appliances are in working order: The inspection report will also note the condition of fixtures and appliances in the home. Use this information to verify that everything is in working order during the final walk through.
Having these documents on hand will also give you peace of mind during the final walk through. You’ll be able to refer to the contract and inspection report as needed, which can help you answer any questions the buyer may have and make the process go more smoothly overall.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is a final walk through necessary in real estate?
A final walk through is necessary in real estate to ensure that the property is in the same condition as when the sale contract was signed, and to confirm that any repairs agreed upon have been completed. This is the last opportunity for the buyer to ensure that the property meets their expectations and to identify any issues before closing.
Who is responsible for scheduling a final walk through?
The buyer’s real estate agent is typically responsible for scheduling the final walk through with the seller’s agent. It is important for both parties to agree on a time and date that is convenient for everyone involved.
What should I bring with me to the final walk through?
You should bring a copy of the contract and the inspection report with you to the final walk through. This will help you to ensure that all repairs agreed upon in the contract have been completed, and that there are no new issues with the property since the inspection.
What should I look for during the final walk through?
During the final walk through, you should look for any changes or damages to the property since the inspection. Check that all appliances are working, that there are no new leaks or water damage, and that any repairs agreed upon have been completed. This is also a good time to test the lights, outlets, and other features of the property.
What should I do if I find an issue during the final walk through?
If you find an issue during the final walk through, you should discuss it with your real estate agent and the seller’s agent. Depending on the severity of the issue, you may need to delay closing or negotiate repair costs. It is important to address any issues before closing to avoid any surprises or unexpected expenses.