The Final Walk-Through: What To Know

Posted on: 11 July 2018

As the time of the closing date draws near, your excitement over your new home is probably rising. It's important that you not forget to perform one final inspection of your home before you sign the paperwork and accept your keys. There should be no surprises when you open the door for the first time after the closing, as long as you prepare ahead. There's a lot you can and should do before you end up getting disappointed on that last visit, so read on to learn more.

Whats included? Strolling into your kitchen and seeing an empty spot where the refrigerator used to sit is both alarming and disappointing. It's best not to just assume that everything you see when you visit the home will convey with it. Ask about kitchen appliances, light fixtures, window treatments, and anything else that's not permanently attached to the house and verify it on the sales contract. Having the seller agree to leave the workout equipment and failing to add that to the contract is an exercise in futility. If an item is missing in action that was listed on the contract, contact your real estate agent after the final walk-through and get reimbursed or the property as agreed.

Is it clean and empty? While you want to see the property you agreed upon, you may not be as interested in that box of old clothing in the attic or the overflowing trash can in the garage. The standard of cleanliness to expect can vary, and you may not find the exact wording to address this issue anywhere on the contract.

Beyond "broom-swept," it might not address property left behind or greasy spots on the kitchen floor. You have a right to move into a home that is relatively clean and free of the previous occupant's belongings. In some cases, the seller leaves behind items that seem to go with the home and that they perceive as being helpful. It's not uncommon to find cans of paint, tiles, wallpaper, light bulbs and more left behind by the sellers, but if you object, you can ask your agent to have the seller remove them.

Hidden damage: Make sure that the home is free of furnishings by the time you do your final walk-through, since you want to be able to evaluate the home more clearly. Sometimes the owner causes damage when they move out, such as dings on the wall and doors and other issues. There are also chances for unexpected damage to happen in between the inspection and the final walk-through, such as vandalism, water leaks, and more. If a gaping hole in the sheet-rock where the previous owner's large screen television once hung greets you, contact your agent. Large problems with the home's condition could cause the closing to be delayed, but you should never accept a home with any of the issues above. Speak to your real estate agent to learn more, or contact a company like Northwood Realty Services.