Often, people buying a house think that the final walk-through is time for some last-minute negotiating – it is not. Nor is it a closing contingency based on the results of the final inspection. It should take place between a few days to a few hours before closing. This way, if repairs or replacements were not completed as agreed upon the seller can give credits to the buyer at closing for the work that needs completing. The final walk through is the time to make sure that everything the seller has agreed to repair or replace has been and that nothing has gone wrong with the house since you last saw it. Following are the items that should be checked as near to closing as possible.
Roof Gutters and down-spouts
Siding Porch/Deck Siding
Storm windows and screens
Working Smoke/fire/carbon monixide Detectors
Screens are in place and not torn
Walls (Serious Cracks)
Garage Door Operation
Cabinetry/Counter – chips and cracks
Run Water Appliances Floors
Check all plumbing fixtures
Check Drains for blockage and leaks
Leaks and water stains
Operate Water Heater
Have your real estate broker go with you on the final walk-through. This way if items that you and the seller agreed would be completed have not been finished your broker can contact the seller’s broker and have adjustments to the price made. Likewise, if something major comes to light, such as a new roof leak, your real estate broker can help in having the price adjusted to allow for repair or replacement.
The final walk-through is also a good time to make sure that the seller has provided you with appliance and other operating manuals such as for the sprinkler system, the garage door opener, the heating and cooling system and the water heater.