A final walkthrough in real estate is a crucial step before closing the deal on a home purchase. It allows buyers to ensure everything is in order and the house is ready to move into.
During the walkthrough, buyers and their real estate agents inspect the property, checking for requested repairs, verifying the seller’s move-out, and assessing locks, windows, appliances, mold presence, electrical system, and outdoor areas.
The walkthrough helps buyers confirm the house meets their expectations and avoids unexpected repairs or expenses. It ensures that the purchased home complies with the agreed-upon conditions and can help avoid future homebuyers remorse.
From my experience as a Maryland Realtor, final walkthroughs are critical for buyers to ensure they buy what they agreed to. The home’s condition should be the same as when the house went under contract. Skipping a final walkthrough could lead to significant issues.
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What is A Final Walkthrough?
As mentioned, a final walkthrough is the crucial last step in the homebuying journey, just before a real estate transaction closes. It is the last opportunity for buyers to inspect the property and ensure everything is in order before officially taking ownership.
During the walkthrough, buyers and their real estate agents thoroughly check the property to ensure it is in the same condition as when they last viewed it. The verification process ensures that the seller has made any agreed-upon repairs or changes and has completely moved out.
Critical Items to Check
Buyers should pay close attention to various aspects of the property during the walkthrough. They should check the functionality of locks and windows, ensuring that they open and close smoothly and securely. Testing all appliances, such as the refrigerator, dishwasher, stove, and HVAC system, is vital to ensure they are in working order.
Another essential aspect to examine is the presence of mold, especially in damp areas such as the bathrooms and basement. Mold can cause health issues and structural problems if left unchecked, so it is crucial to identify and address any signs of mold during the walkthrough.
Furthermore, buyers should inspect the electrical system to ensure it is safe and up to code. This includes testing light switches, outlets, and circuit breakers. Faulty wiring or electrical issues can pose significant risks and may require costly repairs, so it is crucial to identify any potential problems beforehand.
Don’t Forget The Exterior
Finally, the walkthrough should examine the exterior areas, including the garden, pool, and fencing. Buyers should verify that the landscaping is as agreed upon and that the pool, if present, is clean and operational. Additionally, they should inspect the condition of the fence to ensure functionality and safety.
Overall, a final walkthrough provides buyers peace of mind by confirming that the property meets their expectations and that all agreed-upon conditions have been met. It serves as a last opportunity to address any concerns or discrepancies before officially closing the deal.How Long Does a Final Walkthrough Take?
How Long Does a Final Walk-Through Take?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer regarding the duration of a final walkthrough in the real estate process. The timeframe can vary depending on several factors, including the property size, its condition, and the level of thoroughness desired by the buyers.
On average, a final walkthrough can take 30 minutes to an hour or more. This timeframe allows buyers to carefully inspect the property and ensure that everything is in order before proceeding with the closing process.
During the walkthrough, buyers must allocate enough time to examine every property aspect thoroughly. This includes checking the functionality of appliances, testing electrical outlets, inspecting plumbing fixtures, and exploring the condition of walls, ceilings, and floors. Buyers should also note any repairs or issues that the seller was supposed to address. You should ensure that the repairs or issues have been adequately resolved.
Buyers are recommended to schedule the final walkthrough as close to the closing date. The Maryland contract gives buyers up to five days before closing. We recommend within 24 to 48 hours before the scheduled closing. This timing allows buyers to verify that the property is still in the same condition as when they made the offer and ensure that no unexpected issues have arisen.
Importance of the Final WalkThrough
Buyers should consider bringing a checklist to the walkthrough to help them stay organized and ensure that they cover all necessary areas. This can include checking for leaks, testing lights and switches, confirming adequate water pressure, and assessing the functionality of heating or cooling systems. Buyers can alleviate any concerns by following a comprehensive checklist and making a more informed decision about the property.
Remember, the final walkthrough is a formality and crucial step in buying a house. Taking the necessary time to inspect the property thoroughly can help buyers avoid potential problems. Buyers can proceed with confidence and peace of mind by dedicating sufficient time and attention to the final walkthrough.
Final WalkThrough Checklist
Having a checklist can be incredibly helpful to ensure you get all critical details in a final walkthrough.
- Verify repairs: Check that any agreed-upon repairs have been completed satisfactorily. Test appliances, faucets, lights, and other fixtures to ensure they’re all in working order.
- Inspect cleanliness: Assess the overall cleanliness of the property, both inside and outside. Look for any remaining debris or personal belongings left behind by the seller.
- Review utilities: Check the functionality of all utilities, including heating, air conditioning, electrical outlets, and plumbing. Turn on lights, adjust thermostats, and flush toilets to ensure everything is operational.
- Examine doors, windows, and locks: Test all doors and windows to ensure they open, close, and lock properly. Confirm that all locks have been changed according to the agreed-upon terms.
- Assess the property’s condition: Inspect the walls, ceilings, floors, and other structural elements for any signs of damage or issues that may have occurred since you last saw it.
- Check for pests: Look for any signs of problems, such as droppings, nests, or damage caused by insects. Pay close attention to areas like basements, attics, and crawl spaces.
- Outdoor areas: Evaluate the yard’s condition, landscaping, driveway, and other outdoor spaces. Ensure that fences, gates, and sprinkler systems are functioning correctly.
- Confirm included items: Cross-reference the list of things that should be included in the sale to ensure everything is present and in the expected condition.
- Documentation review: Take the time to review any necessary paperwork, contracts, or warranties related to the property. Ensure that all documentation is accurate and complete.
Remember that this checklist serves as a general guide. You may have specific items or concerns unique to your situation. During the final walkthrough, don’t hesitate to address any questions or issues with your Realtor or real estate attorney.
What to Look For During a Final Walkthrough
When conducting a final walkthrough, attention to several key factors is essential to ensure a smooth transition. Here are some important things to look for during the final walkthrough:
- Repairs and agreed-upon improvements: Verify that any requested repairs or agreed-upon enhancements have been completed satisfactorily. Take note of any outstanding issues that still need to be addressed.
- Moving completion: Confirm that the seller has completely moved out of the property. Ensure all personal belongings and unwanted items have been removed, and the house is clean and ready for occupancy.
- Locks and windows: Ensure all locks, including entry doors and windows, function correctly. Test each lock to ensure they open and close smoothly, providing the required security.
- Appliances: Turn on and test all devices, including the stove, oven, refrigerator, dishwasher, and laundry machines. Please make sure they are in good working condition.
- Mold or moisture issues: Thoroughly inspect all areas of the house, especially bathrooms, kitchen, basement, and attic, for any signs of mold or moisture damage. Look for water stains, musty odors, or visible mold growth.
- Electrical system: Check the electrical panel, outlets, light switches, and fixtures to ensure they function correctly. Test a few outlets with an electronic device to see if they provide power.
- Exterior areas: Walk around the property’s exterior to inspect the yard’s condition, landscaping, pool (if applicable), and outdoor structures. Look for signs of damage or maintenance needs.
Common Issues and How to Handle Them
During the final walkthrough of a property, several typical problems or issues may arise. It’s crucial for home buyers to be aware of these challenges and have strategies to address them effectively. Here are some common problems and solutions:
- Repairs Not Completed: One common issue is finding that agreed-upon repairs have not been completed as expected.
- Damages or Changes Since the Offer: Buyers should document the issues, take clear photos and notes.
- Missing Items: Buyers may find that certain fixtures, appliances, or items included in the purchase agreement are missing or not as described. Again, double-check the purchase contract.
Buyers should first refer to the contract and the repair agreement negotiated in the contract. We recommend to buyers that they get a home inspection. A home inspection provides protection for homebuyers against getting a bad real estate deal. Additionally, there will most likely not be any surprises at the final walkthrough. Buyers will also have a written agreement as to what, if any repairs need to be done. This agreement is their safety net.
The buyers’ agent should politely address the issue with the seller’s agent. Buyers have the option to delay the closing, but that is often not feasible at this point of the process. If you discover problems, your real estate attorney will likely request a holdback of monies. The holdback will ensure the seller remedies the problem.
It’s important for home buyers to approach these issues with open communication, professionalism, and a clear understanding of their rights and the contract terms. Involving your real estate team can be particularly valuable in mediating and finding mutually beneficial solutions.
During the final walkthrough, it is crucial to be thorough and meticulous in your inspection. Take your time to examine each aspect and document any concerns or discrepancies you may discover. This walkthrough is your last opportunity to address any issues before closing the deal, so your examination must be diligent.
By carefully assessing these critical areas during the final walkthrough, you can ensure that the property meets your expectations and is free from unforeseen problems. It allows you to have peace of mind as you finalize the purchase of your new home.
We hope you found this information about the final walkthrough helpful. Please reach out if we can assist you with any real estate needs or questions.
Chris & Karen Highland
eXp Realty – 301-301-5119
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