Closing day on your new home...it's an exciting time. I love getting to this point with my clients--the anticipation and excitement about a new home is what makes my job so rewarding. But one the closing is scheduled, there is one more very important thing you need to do. That's the final walk through.
Many people see the final walk through as just another opportunity to visualize where the couch is going to go. But there is a little more to it than that. This is your last opportunity to check out the home and make sure there are no problems. It can be something as simple as realizing screens are missing from the windows or something as serious as major water damage in the basement--I've seen it all.
The final walk through
Don't go into the final walk through unaware. Here are a few things you should be looking out for (in addition to where that couch is going to go).
- Make sure all the items that are supposed to be staying with the house are still there. You think the washing machine or the stained glass window convey? Make sure they're still there during the walk through. Your purchase agreement should list everything that conveys. Just double check it. I've seen sellers remove something because they forgot it conveyed.
- Conversely, if something is supposed to be gone, make sure it's gone! Assume that anything you see laying around is still going to be there when you move in. If you don't want it, make sure the sellers take it away. I've seen people try to leave broken furniture and all sorts of things.
- Make sure any repairs the seller was supposed to do are done--these should be listed in the purchase agreement. These will also be listed in the purchase agreement. Ask for receipts if the repair isn't something you would necessarily notice on the walk through.
- Make sure there is no new damage. This can be as simple as a scratch in floor from moving furniture out to a busted pipe (yep, I've seen that on walk through). You'll want to discuss costs of repairs for these things at the closing.
- Finally, make sure everything works! Chances are, when you first saw your dream house, you were so excited you didn't methodically walk room to room and test every light switch, close every door, latch every window, and turn on every appliance. Do it now. Things break between home inspections and closings, and it's not fun to discover that after you've purchased the house! Make sure you have copies of warranties and owner's manuals for appliances.
Fixing what goes wrong in the final walk through
Keep a list of everything you've found, and give it to your Realtor®. She'll help you get negotiate getting them fixed/replaced/corrected with the seller.
Now that you've done a thorough walk through, it's time to get seriously excited about your new home. Have fun!