If you have questions about what happens during a final walkthrough, this article will answer them and help you understand what to expect.
More often than not, when a home is sold there is a provision that allows the buyer to come back and visit the home once or twice before it officially closes. The final walkthrough is your last chance, as a buyer, to inspect the home and make sure everything is as you’d expect it to be.
And while the thought of getting a few last minute looks of your home-to-be can be exciting, there are some things you may want to remember to do.
First Things First
First, be sure that your agreement of purchase allows for at least one walkthrough prior to closing. Your REALTOR® can help you find this information if you need help.
This walkthrough appointment must be scheduled at a mutually agreed upon date and time with the sellers. For liability purposes, you will need to be accompanied by your real estate agent. Generally these appointments can last anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour, so plan your time accordingly.
Can the Sellers be Present During the Final Walkthrough?
Generally speaking, the sellers are asked to leave during your final visit so that you can feel more comfortable looking around the home. No one likes being stared at during a final walkthrough so it’s considered a common curtesy to let the buyers inspect the home on their own.
However if you prefer the sellers to be home, that can be arranged too. Some buyers want the opportunity to meet the sellers and ask important questions about the home. This is common if the home has a swimming pool or some other part of the home that they’d like to be shown how to maintain.
Can We Bring Our Contractor to the Home to Discuss Future Renovations?
In short, yes of course. If you are planning on doing extensive renovations on the house, you may wish that your contractor come visit the property with you before closing so they can get an idea of the scope of your project (e.g. costs of supplies, timeframe, schedules).
Remember, contractors tend to spend a lot of time looking around more than a simple walkthrough allows. As mentioned earlier, a typical walkthrough appointment only lasts up to an hour. So if your contractor requires more time than this to take measurements and drawings, you will need to negotiate that in advance with the sellers.
Most sellers will be accommodating but they should know beforehand that you’ll need more than a typical hour-long appointment.
What Should We Do During Our Final Walkthrough?
Don’t be distracted or overwhelmed when you visit your future home. You don’t want to kick yourself later wishing you’d checked something in particular during your walkthrough but over looked it.
Things you should bring with you during your final walkthrough:
- a notepad and pen (you can use notes on your phone too)
- a measuring tape to measure windows, doors etc.
- a camera to take pictures or videos of particular areas
- a list of anything you want to get a closer look at
- any paint samples you’d like to see in particular rooms of the house
What to Check During the Final Walkthrough:
- Take measurements of windows or doors that you may wish to purchase curtains/blinds for. It’s a great idea to have these ready shortly after you move in so you can get some privacy in your new home!
- Make notes of any particular rooms and their measurements so you can plan-out where large pieces of furniture will fit on move-in day.
- Take photos of any unique areas of the home that you will want to refer back to as you plan your move.
- Verify that any repairs you’ve asked the sellers to complete have been done to your standards.
- Ensure that all appliances, inclusions and chattels that are supposed to remain with the home are still there.
- Test the ceiling fans, light fixtures, plumbing fixtures etc. to make sure they are all in working order.
- Note any possible issues you find so your REALTOR® can talk to the sellers in advance of closing day.
Can We Bring Our Family Members to See The House?
It is so much fun showing your parents, friends and family the home you’ve purchased and it can be tempting to bring them along to your walkthrough. However, your sellers may want to limit the number of people walking through the property while they are still the owners.
While we don’t recommend inviting dozens of your closest friends and family to the final visit, you can definitely ask your real estate agent to check with the sellers as to whether a couple extra people can tag along. We want to be respectful as visitors to the home as the sellers still live there for the time being.
Final walkthroughs tend to take place in the weeks and days before closing, so your sellers have probably been quite busy packing up their entire home. There may be boxes and packing materials around the house that can be distracting.
While we ask sellers to stack any boxes neatly so you can look around easily, be understanding that they are just as stressed as you during this moving time. The home may not look as perfect as you remember it when you first bought it. There is still time to make sure everything is done right before you move in, so don’t worry!
Prepare For Closing Day
Once you’ve completed your final walkthrough of the property, you’re so much closer to moving in! Our team has a comprehensive article on what you can expect on closing day here: Getting Properly Prepared For Closing Day
As always if you have any questions about what happens during your entire purchase transaction, we are always here to help!