The Final Walkthrough
You’ve survived the negotiations, the inspection and now you’re ready to close on your new home!
Before you sign on the dotted line, go on a final walkthrough with your realtor. When purchasing a home, the seller is required to keep the house in the same condition you agreed to buy it in, and the final walkthrough gives you the opportunity to confirm that.
Here’s what to look for on your final walkthrough:
1. Give those walls, ceilings, and floors a good once-over now that the house is empty.
You want to look for anything out of the ordinary. Most sellers will try to patch holes caused from removing their decor, but those holes, if left, are usually minor. Look for broken floorboards, chipped walls and anything else that sticks out to you. If the seller caused these during their move-out process and they are major issues, it could cause you to incur unwanted expenses.
2. Check every switch to make sure it turns lights/fans on and off (this includes the garage door opener!)
This might seem minor, but there is nothing worse than walking into your new home full of excitement only to find that the beautiful light above the dining room table doesn’t work like it did when you did your inspection. Make sure EVERYTHING that worked during inspection or repaired from negotiations works as it is supposed to.
3. Test both the heat and the AC. You might not need one right then, but you’ll want to know it works!
It might be 90 degrees in the Fall here in St. Augustine, but test to make sure that your heat works. Just because you don’t want it right now, doesn’t mean you won’t want it eventually! If you don’t test it when you’re purchasing the home, you’ll have to make that repair yourself.
4. Try the garbage disposal and exhaust fans.
Be sure to use the garbage disposal correctly, but making sure that it works now will be much better than realizing it doesn’t work when there’s stuff down there…
5. Check all the appliances that are remaining to make sure that they are in working order.
If any appliances were left per your contract, make sure that they are working as they should! This includes the refrigerator, dishwasher, oven, washer, dryer, microwave, etc. Do a quick test on all of them just to be sure they work.
6. Open and close every door to make sure there is no squeak or loose hinges.
This one is minor and can usually be fixed with a quick screwdriver to WD-40, but go ahead and check them. If a squeaky door is the only thing you find wrong with the house, you’re doing pretty good! You don’t have to report the things you found during closing if you don’t want to, but it is your right if it wasn’t working/functioning the same as when you did your inspection.
7. Try to open and close all the windows you can to make sure that they aren’t stuck or broken.
This is important especially during the “winter” season here in St. Augustine! When the weather drops to cooler temperatures and you can finally turn off your AC and open your windows, you’ll be thankful that you checked to make sure that they actually do open.
8. Plug something into every outlet to make sure that they all work.
Just like you test all the appliances, you want to check every outlet. You’ll save your future self some money and heartburn if there’s an outlet out.
9. Check for any leaks or cracks.
This is major. Leaks and/or cracks can sometimes incur major expenses depending on the severity. Most frequent are pipes bursting and cracks in the foundation. If they weren’t recorded in your inspection, speak with your relator to see what can be done about them before you sign at closing.
10. Above all, make sure that you feel good about accepting the house/property in the condition that it is in.
You will be the one to live in this house, so be sure that after all has been said and done you feel comfortable moving in as is. If there are damages that weren’t there before your inspection, speak with your realtor in order to resolve the issues before you close.
Once you’re happy with the condition of the home, head to closing and sign those papers!