How to Prepare for the Final Walk-Through

final walk-through

The final walk-through in real estate gives buyers the chance to confirm the home is in the same condition as when they made their offer and had the home inspected. It’s also an opportunity to make sure the seller has actually vacated. Here are some tips for buyers on how to prepare for the final walk-through.

Do the walk-through before the day of closing

A walk-through can uncover needed repairs you didn’t know about. If you do the walk-through the day of the closing, there may not be time to get those repairs made.

In fact, it’s not unusual to have two walk-throughs. The first identifies some issues for the buyer. The second second makes sure those issues were addressed.

The alternative is to push back the closing to address the problems. But your lender may not have approved a delayed closing. So hammer out any issues in advance.

Use your mobile phone to check the outlets

During the walk-through, bring your phone’s charger. Plug it into all the outlets to make sure the electricity works. You don’t want to move in only to realize some outlets don’t work.

Look for leftovers

Sellers often leave junk behind. In fact, they should leave the place completely empty.

Some left-behind items, such as paint, can be toxic or require special provisions for disposal. For example, one seller left behind all kinds of used oil that needed to go to a certain, state-approved car repair shop to be disposed of properly. These unwanted items become yours after you close.

So it pays to check the garage and attic and under the deck during the final walk-through.

Be prepared for a surprise

Buyers often fall in love with a home that’s full of furniture, art and belongings. They see it as a home, and remember a warm feeling.

But after the close of escrow, you’re faced with an empty home, which can feel cold and sterile. Buyers are often surprised by how they feel entering an empty home. Not only is it absent any furniture and “stuff,” but sometimes an empty home shows its imperfections, too.

For example, the sun may have slightly bleached floors, showing the outline of a rug. There may be carpet stains or holes in the wall from a flat-screen TV or paintings. An empty home tends to show poorly, so prepare yourself before the walk-through.

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