Wow - what an amazing feeling! You’ve received the “clear to close” from your bank or another lender… the closing between you and the seller is scheduled … and now you’re counting down the hours until the final walk-through on your new house. This will be your final chance to voice any questions or concerns about the new house, so you need to ensure the walk-through goes well. What do you need to think about? How can you best prepare? Here are 5 important tips for doing just that.
Remember the phrase “close to closing.”
Ideally, you should schedule the final walk-through on your new house as close to the closing as possible. In fact, ideally, it should be completed within 24 hours of the closing. This will give you the most precise, detailed impression of the house’s condition in real-time.
Bring your Investigation Contingency Amendment (ICA).
Your Investigation Contingency Amendment (ICA) and inspection report will serve as your guides for making sure all requested repairs have, in fact, been completed. Plus, if the seller’s agent attends the walk-through, the ICA serves as a written record of requested repairs—and of any possible outstanding issues—with the property.
Prepare a final walk-through checklist.
It can be difficult to remember each little detail you intend to double-check on your final walk-through. A comprehensive walk-through checklist will help you keep track of what to look for so you don’t miss any important details. Some of the key things to add to your checklist should be: (1.) Check for all items included in the sale; (2.) Check all doors, windows, and locks; (3.) Carefully inspect the bathrooms; (4.) Review the condition of the kitchen; (5.) Test all the appliances; (6.)Test the heating and air conditioning; (7.) Test the electrical system.
Take your time, to do it right.
You should plan to dedicate a little bit of time to the walk-through. It can’t be stressed enough: This walk-through is your final chance to address any and all issues you may have with the house. So don’t be afraid to be slow, methodical, and meticulous.
Ask about and discuss any remaining concerns.
Be polite and courteous but also assertive. As you go step-by-step (literally!) through the house, don’t hesitate to ask key questions such as: Have all requested repairs been made? Did the seller leave behind all warranties and maintenance guides? Is everything included in the sale present in the home? Does everything work? Is there heating fuel in the tank(s)? Is there anything left behind that shouldn’t be? Any issues that may arise on the final walk-through can generally be resolved by (a.) negotiating a monetary compromise for you, the buyer, or (b.) holding a portion of the home sale proceeds in escrow. Don’t be afraid to raise any issue you believe to be unresolved, and make sure matters are addressed before you transfer any funds.