The final walk through is your last chance, as a buyer, to make sure the property you are about to buy is in the condition to expect it to be! It is important in protecting your interests, as buyer. The final walk through is, in effect, your last inspection, and which occurs shortly before closing. It is your opportunity to verify that all agreed upon remedy work was completed to your satisfaction, the home is broom clean and empty, and the home is in comparable condition as to when you wrote the offer. Watch my video here for more information on this important last step before closing!
Final Walk Through Checklist
Each property is unique, but the following checklist should help you keep on track and check the important components of your new home! The final walk through happens at different times depending upon your market, but here in the Iowa City area, we tend to try to complete the final walk through as close to closing as possible. The reasoning behind our timing is that it removes risk for the buyer. One never knows when something unexpected, like a failed water heater, is going to happen. Leaving the final check to the last minute means there is minimal time for something to go awry in the time between the walk through and closing which would then saddle the buyer with an unexpected repair.
- Verify remedy work was completed. Ask for paid invoices from seller prior to closing.
- Verify the home is “broom clean” and empty.
- Verify all appliances are in property working order.
- Check home for damage that may have occurred upon the seller moving out, such as wall damage from moving furniture.
- Verify proper functioning of the HVAC system. It is not recommended to run the AC if the outside air temperature has been lower than 60 degrees in the past 24 hours. Running the AC in cold temperatures can damage the system.
- Check for hot water at the tap, and check that there are no leaks around the water heater.
- Check that all appliances and fixtures noted in the purchase agreement are still there, for example, window treatments, window AC units.
- Check lights, ceiling fans, gas fireplaces, etc.
- Check for keys and garage door remotes (may be exchanged at the closing table).
- Check for proper functioning of windows, doors, etc.
How to handle problems
If there is a problem that is found during your final walk through your Realtor® will likely call the seller’s Realtor® and try to work out a resolution. In most cases, neither party wants a small problem to throw off the whole transaction, so an acceptable solution will need to be found. Sometimes closing will be delayed until the issue is taken care of, but more often the seller will offer money to fix the issue, whatever it may be. If there is an issue that is unacceptable to you, as buyer, it is important to make your voice heard because once you sign the closing documents and exchange money, the property, and any problems there, become your responsibility.