December 18th, 2022
Congratulations! You’ve made it to the final stretch before you become the proud owner of a brand-new home. With all the excitement around the closing day, it’s easy to forget all the little details that need to be scrutinized. But don’t get too complacent just yet. Before you can call yourself a homeowner, you’ll need to make sure your house is in perfect condition, and that’s where the all-but-necessary final walkthrough comes in.
While it may seem daunting at first glance, knowing precisely what needs addressing can help alleviate some stress during this busy time as a homebuyer. Armed with our final walkthrough checklist and tips, you'll be ready to take ownership of your dream home in no time with peace of mind!
The final walk-through is one of the final and essential steps in a real estate purchase – it's a visit to the new home or property that you could soon call yours. It’s a chance to take one last look at your future home before making things official.
The final walk-through is an opportunity to review any recent repairs the seller made before closing and ensure that the property you have signed up for is in the condition you agreed on when making an offer. If there are any discrepancies or issues that need to be taken care of, this is the time to bring them up so that they can be rectified or compensated for accordingly during closing negotiations or forever hold your peace.
If all checks out, then you can finally go ahead and enjoy the rewards of all your hard work hunting down a home sweet home!
Although final walkthroughs aren’t home inspections or required by law, it doesn’t make them any less vital. Nothing can replace the experience of seeing your soon-to-be home in person, and that's why it's absolutely essential. So, what is the purpose of the walkthrough?
The final walk-through allows you to take everything in one last time before the purchase – it is the ideal (and last!) opportunity for homebuyers to inspect their new property right before sealing the deal to avoid any unpleasant surprises down the line, ensure all agreed-upon items have been completed, and any necessary repairs have been addressed before signing the official paperwork.
It also provides an opportunity to check for any unexpected issues that may have cropped up since you last viewed the property. Essentially, it’s your chance to get a “last look” and shake hands with confidence. After all, peace of mind is priceless.
Getting to the closing table is a big deal, so it's important to make sure everything looks exactly as it’s supposed to. To help reduce some of the pressure at this crucial moment in your home-buying journey, it's best for the final walkthrough to take place about 24 hours before you're scheduled to close.
This gives buyers enough time to ensure there are no unexpected issues that could pop up and delay things while still getting them to the finish line with time to spare. And, if something isn’t right, you’ll still have time to ask for fixes or negotiate anything else needed before you move in, so you can start settling in peace!
Depending on the size of the home, how thorough you are with your “inspection,” and the number of potential issues you might encounter, a final walk-through generally takes around an hour or two – not quite the epic quest you may have been imagining.
Another common question is: Does the house have to be empty for the final walk-through? It should, as you’ll be much quicker and thorough with your assessment without furniture getting in the way.
So, while it may seem daunting at first glance, don't get too worked up about it. With our house or apartment walk-through checklist in hand, you'll be in and out quicker than you might think.
Moving into your dream home is an exciting time, but it can also be stressful. You want to take a good last look and make sure that everything is in order before you finally settle down. There’s a lot to keep track of, and it's normal to feel overwhelmed. But don't worry – we’ve got your back.
With our ultimate final walkthrough checklist for homeowners at hand, you can rest easy knowing that nothing will get overlooked before your move-in day! Follow these steps and tips closely, and soon enough, you'll be settled in your dream home without any major hiccups along the way.
Here’s a detailed checklist of everything you need to do and look out for on your final walk-through before closing.
You'd be forgiven for thinking the final walk-through might require nothing but some time and a cheery smile, but don't get caught unprepared. The crucial piece of equipment to bring with you is a solid grasp of what needs to get done.
On top of that, come armed with:
You wouldn’t be out of place bringing a magnifying glass or a friend or family member with you either, as an extra set of eyes just to make sure everything gets double-checked!
Now, the burning question: What to look for in the final walk-through?
On the day of your final walkthrough, ensure all of the agreed-upon repairs have been taken care of and that any items included in the sale (like kitchen appliances or security systems) are still in working order. Pay attention to details like cracked windows or doors that don’t open correctly; if something was supposed to be fixed, make sure it has been fixed!
And if any items are missing or broken, don’t be afraid to speak up, even if it’s a minor issue — that’s what the final walkthrough is for!
Don't forget to test all utilities like water fixtures, electrical systems, and gas. You should turn on all light fixtures and check all outlets to ensure they work properly. Check the water pressure and hot water.
If you're not 100% sure about how something works (like a shower with multiple knobs), ask questions until it makes sense—you don't want to be surprised by an unexpected flood when you move in!
Sometimes, there is more than meets the eye. It's easy to overlook some of the less obvious aspects of a house during the final walkthrough—things like air conditioning filters, exhaust fans, ceiling fans, or dryer vents that might need cleaning after months of being closed up.
Make sure to look at everything with a critical eye, so nothing gets overlooked; even things like checking behind large furniture pieces can save you time and money down the road. It's also important to note any changes from when you first saw the property; for example, did any paint colors change? If so, make sure those changes were agreed upon before the day of closing.
Don't forget to check for any unwelcome guests, such as pest infestations and mold, as they can be dealbreakers! Don't let them sneak in unnoticed – they need to move out before you move in. Check the corners of closets and other hidden areas for signs of pests – you never know where little critters might be lurking, and also ensure no fuzzy spots have cropped up in damp places.
When you do the final walk-through of your new property, don’t forget to tour the outside too. Just like you paid attention to the nitty-gritty details inside, scope out how things look on the exterior. Check the landscape for any unexpected surprises like rogue weeds or trampled gardens, as well as irrigation systems, garage door openers, and gates.
After all, there’s nothing more infuriating than signing for your house, then noticing that a crooked set of shrubs have become part of the front yard décor. So, before sealing the deal with a handshake and a smile, get out there, put on some insect repellent and take a look around—you may even have fun doing it!
Pro tip? If Mother Nature gives a pre-close blessing of bad weather, use this as an opportunity for another walkthrough to double-check that your future home is still in tip-top condition. Quick checklist for home walkthrough No. 2? Get those eagle eyes ready to spot any potential water damage or sinkhole surprises that could have been overlooked the first time!
The final walk-through before closing is a crucial step in the property buying or selling process that should never be overlooked. With so much riding on completing a successful sale, it's best to make sure it all goes off without a hitch and that you’re getting your money’s worth before you sign on the dotted line. If you want to make the real estate closing process quick and painless, Lightspeed Escrow experts are at your service, whether you’re a buyer or a seller.
Don't throw in the towel if you encounter any issues – if something unexpected pops up while performing your final walkthrough, don't wave goodbye to your dream home just yet! Get your agent and seller involved, speak up, and have some patience. Sure, it may push back move-in day slightly, but at least they'll have time to work on a solution so you can get on the same page.
Whatever happens, just remember – human error might be inevitable, but moving-day blunders don't have to be! So, get ready to do one last lap around your soon-to-be new place, and take comfort in knowing that afterward, you'll have officially crossed over into "happy homeowner" territory!