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If You’re About to Close on a Home, Here’s How to Conduct the Final Walkthrough

a house with a realtor in fron looking at a checklist

As a key phase prior to closing, the final walkthrough on a home helps confirm the details you and the seller agreed upon as the conditions of purchase.

However, not many homebuyers go through this process in general. Some are pressed for time, while others are just too excited to get their hands on a new house. But as much as possible, it’s important to avoid foregoing final walkthroughs.

So how does one breeze through it without missing crucial details?

Prepare accordingly

Before going through the home one last time, the purchase agreement and inspection report should be at the ready. These documents are important for:

  • Double-checking areas that should have been repaired like damaged floorboards and water leakage
  • Flagging items that are included or excluded from the property sale, such as kitchen appliances and furniture and furnishings

Take a few of your gadgets and devices to the final walkthrough as well. These items can help test the home’s electrical outlets.

Don’t forget to bring a reliable camera – smartphone-based or otherwise – to back up claims with photo documentation. But don’t rely entirely on fancy technology. Bring a good old-fashioned pen and notebook to put general thoughts and key observations down on paper.

Check the exterior and interior

Observe the home’s exterior features to ascertain if they are the same as it was when you first saw them. For instance, see if the walkway and driveway do not have any cracks on the surface. Test the doorbell to see if it’s working and inspect the mailbox to see if it’s in good shape. Check for scrapes, scratches, and other damage on the roof (as it’s exposed to sunlight and the elements) and porch (a potentially high-traffic area).

Once you make your way inside, see if the home’s interior is clean and in tip-top shape. Is the flooring free of stains and damage? Do the locks function as they should? Are the doors opening and closing easily?

Check if the seller made any changes that weren’t there the last time. For example, the lighting fixtures may have been recently replaced or appliances swapped out.

Additionally, you can also go through the home listing one last time to verify any important detail you may have missed.

Stay safe while doing the final walkthrough

Due to COVID-19, a number of homebuyers today are opting to go through this process while observing all available health precautions. To do the same, here are some tips on doing a hassle-free and socially-distanced final walkthrough:

  • Agree with the seller on the best platform to view the property virtually (e.g., Skype, Zoom). Have a second option ready, in case technical issues pop up.
  • Just before entering the house, have the camera pan to the surrounding area to get a glimpse of the neighborhood and nearby amenities.
  • Have your real estate agent represent you during the walkthrough. Course your questions and clarifications through them.
  • Call your agent immediately after the walkthrough to debrief and exchange notes on the experience – yours, virtually; theirs, on site.

For a truly seamless experience heading into closing, you’ll need the expertise of John Butler, a seasoned realtor in La Quinta, Palm Springs, Palm Desert, and other surrounding areas. Give him a call 760.989.2030 or send an email to AmazingDesertHomes(at)gmail(dotted)com.