One of the more exciting parts of the home buying process is the final walk-through. After all, most of our Nashville clients view a home at most a handful of times before making an offer. Then the negotiations begin and the ball gets rolling for the home inspection, the closing, etc. Suddenly, the new homeowner realizes that they can’t even remember exactly how big that linen closet was upstairs or the exact window height in the living room. The final walk-through is the last viewing of the home before closing.
One thing to keep in mind is that the final walk-through is not when one renegotiates. There is not an opportunity here to suddenly ask for items to be fixed or to balk at the home now that you’ve seen it empty. The final walk-through IS the time to inspect the condition of the house with your real estate agent to ensure that no major changes have taken place and that all the agreed upon repairs have been completed.
Here are a few tips for how to handle a final walk-through and make it to closing:
- Schedule it – This might sound silly, but a surprising number of homeowners are willing to skip this step due to closing timelines. Don’t skip it! Even if you have only an hour to see the property with your realtor, do it.
- Check the exterior – This is especially important in Middle Tennessee real estate – storms can arise between the time of an offer and the time of the final walk-through. Be sure there is no new storm damage to the roof, windows and exterior. Also take a moment to check the landscaping to be sure no plants or shrubs have been removed. Look through exterior storage areas to be sure all garbage and debris is removed.
- Check the interior – Inspect ceilings, walls, floors, doors, and windows.
- Check lighting – Be sure that no light fixtures were removed unless that was previously agreed upon. Turn every switch on and off and make sure there are no exposed electrical wires anywhere.
- Check plumbing – Turn on every faucet and look below cabinets to be sure there are no leaks. Let the showers or tubs run for a moment. Flush each toilet. Run the garbage disposal.
- Check heating and air conditioning – Yes, if it’s winter you still need to run the A/C for a moment and vise versa if it’s summer. Be sure there are no funny noises or smells that reveal problems.