Just before you close on your home loan, you will have the opportunity to do a final walk-through. This is your chance to make sure the home looks as you remembered it. It’s also a way for you to make sure the home is in the condition you agreed to in the purchase contract.
This is not the time to haggle on a price or initiate new repairs. It’s kind of a checks and balances procedure to make sure the seller held up to his end of the bargain. It’s a time to make sure the seller did what he agreed to do. If he didn’t, then the closing may not occur as requested.
So what do you look for during this walk-through? Keep reading to find out.
You’ll Need Your Contract
Before you step foot in the house, make sure you have the signed and executed contract with you. This way you know beyond a doubt what the seller was supposed to do. Even if the seller did not have any imminent responsibility to make repairs, keep the contract with you in case you need it to jog your memory.
It’s best if you do the final walk-through with the seller present (unless it’s a vacant home). This way any issues can be discussed right away and possibly even fixed immediately.
Your Final Walk-Through Checklist
Once it’s time to walk through the home, here’s what you should keep an eye out for:
- Walk the perimeter of the property looking closely at the roof and siding. If there was any bad weather recently, you’ll want to make sure the home stayed intact and that no damage occurred. Your homeowner’s insurance won’t cover damage that occurred before your coverage started.
- Check all electrical items. Make sure everything turns on and off okay. Also, make sure any agreed upon lighting fixtures are still there. Anything that is removable should have been documented in the contract so that you know what is staying and what is leaving.
- Check all appliances. Again, turn them on and off and make sure any appliances that the seller agreed to leave are still there.
- Try all of the faucets to make sure they work and don’t drip. However, you should also check underneath the sink to make sure the pipes are not leaking.
- Look closely at the walls and ceilings in each room. Look specifically for any dents from moving furniture or watermarks from dripping water.
- Open and close all of the doors, paying attention if the screens and storm windows are attached. If they aren’t, make sure you ask where they are as well as to see them. This helps you know where to find them when you need them, but also to make sure they are in the house.
As you look at these items, make sure you pay attention to any new issues that you notice. These would be issues you didn’t address after the inspection because they didn’t exist. The seller had the responsibility to keep the home in similar condition, as it was when you signed the contract. If you notice this isn’t the case, you should talk to your attorney.
Also, make sure you pay close attention to any areas that the seller was supposed to make repairs. If you have questions, now is the time to ask them. If you don’t believe the repairs were done or they weren’t done right, you may have to contact your attorney.
What to do if the Home Isn’t in Good Condition
If upon the final walk-through, you find that the home is not in good condition, you have two options. You can walk away from the sale, putting your earnest money and your dream home at risk. Or you can work with the seller, postponing the closing until he/she does the promised work.
Neither option is very pleasing, but if the repairs mean that much to you, it’s worth it. Of course, the more amicable option would be to work it to with the seller. Some sellers may not be as agreeable as others, though. It depends on the situation as well as how you approach the topic.
It’s always a good idea to have a neutral third party with you on your walk-through before the closing. An inspector, your real estate agent, or your attorney are all great choices to help you should anything go awry at the final walk-through.Click to See the Latest Mortgage Rates»