Five things to look out for during your final walkthrough
A final walkthrough is the last chance buyers get to inspect the property they're purchasing — to ensure it's in the same condition it was when they agreed to buy. The final walkthrough is also an opportunity to ensure that any agreed-upon repairs that you may have negotiated with the seller were completed entirely and to your satisfaction and that no fixtures or fittings are missing from the property.
Most people perform the final walkthrough the same day that they close on their real estate transaction; however, some may choose to complete the final walkthrough before. Ideally, the final walkthrough should be completed as close to closing as possible. Although your closing day can be very stressful, and there is often a lot to deal with, you mustn't be tempted to skip your final walkthrough — once you sign the final sales documents and become the legal owner of your new home, you also become responsible for any unexpected issues.
Here are five things that you should look out for during your final walkthrough
Leaks and Water Damage
Leaks and water damage can result in costly repairs and can put a real dampener on your new home celebrations. During your final walkthrough, make sure to check for leaks in the plumbing. This could simply be taking a look under the sink and around any fixtures that use water. You should also look at the surrounding areas for water damage and stains. This is especially true if the home has not been occupied during the sales process, as without owners present in a home, even small leaks can turn into significant problems. Look out for things like damp patches on ceilings and dripping faucets. It's also crucial to remember that the final walkthrough is not the time to complete another home inspection; it is simply to check for any new issues that may have occurred between the inspection period and closing on the home.
This is an easy and quick check to make when conducting your final walkthrough, simply go through the home and turn on all of the lights to check that they're working. You should also make a point of checking other electrical appliances too, such as the microwave and oven. If the home has light fittings that were included in the sale, make sure that none of them have been removed or changed without your prior consent.
Sometimes during the inspection period, issues arise that need addressing by the sellers. If you negotiate any repairs during the inspection period, you should use the final walkthrough as an opportunity to everything is completed before you close on the property. If any repairs have not been completed, now is the time to bring this to your realtor's attention, so that they can address the issue with the sellers. It may be necessary for the sellers to credit you at closing for any repairs that were not completed.
Checking the toilets is one of the essential parts of the final walkthrough. If one of the bathrooms is blocked, or there is a blockage somewhere in the plumbing, being aware will save you a lot of trouble before you sign the final sales contract, because no one wants to move into their new home and not be able to use the bathroom. Remember to go around each toilet and flush it to ensure its draining correctly and in working order.
Last, but certainly not least is the garage area. Buyers often overlook the garage, but it's an important part of the home that shouldn't be forgotten. During the final walkthrough, ensure that the garage door is opening and closing correctly and the garage openers are operational. If there are any electrical outlets in the garage, you should check those too. Bringing along a phone charger can be a quick way to check electrical outlets for power.
The final walkthrough is an integral part of the home buying process, and shouldn't be rushed, or avoided. If you're not sure what to look for, speak to your realtor who can advise you. If you have any questions regarding purchasing a single-family rental home, we would love to help! You can reach us here, and also check out our podcast for general financial advice and useful tidbits.
All information and materials in this article are for educational purposes only. Opinions expressed in this article are based on information considered reliable, but The Daily Money Show cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information, nor should it be relied upon. The information discussed in this article should not be used as a recommendation to buy or sell securities, nor should it be taken as investment advice. The Daily Money Show is not a Registered Investment Advisor or Broker Dealer. The Daily Money Show is not an accounting firm and does not give tax advice regarding any security or real estate transaction. You may want to consult with an accountant, attorney, real estate agent, or financial advisor before proceeding with any transaction regarding securities or real estate.