Purchasing a new home is a very exciting, and at times a stressful process! So many details to keep track of, and at the end of the road, one of the last items to be checked off the list, is the final walkthrough. The final walkthrough is crucial for many reasons in the home buying process. Ultimately, it is the buyers last opportunity to check the home before papers are signed and all responsibilities are transferred over to them! The suggestions below hopefully provide some guidance for a successful final walkthrough and no surprises upon move-in!
Be prepared for a different feel when you enter the home. Many homes are not vacant upon the time of an accepted offer, and the final walkthrough is the first time the buyers see the home completely empty. Be on the lookout for excessive signs of wear and especially any signs of pests. Many find it helpful to split the home up into different areas and bring along a checklist for each. One main rule of thumb; if at all possible, avoid scheduling the final walkthrough on your way to the closing! Allow yourself and the seller to process and negotiate what needs to be done in case there is anything not working properly.
The kitchen is one of the main areas of the home to spend some extra time. If appliances are included in the purchase spend some time double-checking that they are in working order. Turn the stove and oven on and off, as well as the dishwasher. Check the refrigerator and freezer to make sure they are keeping a correct temperature and inspect their cleanliness. Turn the faucet on and off to check for leaks and check the disposal. If appliances have been removed, look for signs of mold or damage that may have been previously hidden.
The laundry room is frequently overlooked, but also an important room to spend some time in! Turn the washer and dryer on and off to check for functionality. Also, inspect the utility sink for proper drainage and water pressure.
The bathroom is another important room to check thoroughly. If a home is going to contain mold, typically a bathroom is where it is spotted first. Check the sink and shower for hot and cold, water pressure and proper drainage. Note where there might be any standing water and inspect the area throughly. Also, check the area around the toilet for water damage and flush it to make sure it doesn’t run afterwards. Lastly, turn on the ventilation fan to make sure it functions properly.
Windows, Doors and Electrical
Walk through the house and test all the windows to see if they open, close and especially lock correctly. If you are there in the hot months of summer or the cold months of winter, feel to see if there is a draft. Check to make sure all the doors close and lock properly and test each electrical outlet! it is easy to do so with an outlet tester or even a cell phone charger.
Cleanliness and Curb Appeal
Sellers are required to clean their home before the buyers move in. Check to make sure there are not any unreasonable messes left behind. Also make sure that all that has been agreed upon has been moved out of the house. Having your walkthrough several days to a couple weeks before the closing will allow the sellers to take care of these things. Also, the upkeep of the outside can be very telling of what you may find inside as well! If vegetation is overgrown around the perimeter of the home, that might be a sign that pests have found their way inside the home, so be on the lookout! Also, check to make sure the exterior of the home looks as well cared for as the interior. It is your home’s first impression!
The above suggestions can provide some clear guidance for your final walkthrough, so that you are not coming through unprepared!