What is a Final Walk Through and What Should I Expect?
The purpose of the walkthrough inspection is to be sure that the home you are buying is in the same condition as the date of the contract, making sure that all warranted items are working properly and that repairs identified during the inspection period have been properly completed. Here are a few things to look for:
1. Working appliances
Turn on the dishwasher, the oven (and the oven light and fan), and burners. Does the garbage disposal run?
2. Working Plumbing
Turn on every faucet and shower head in the house and then turn them off. Also, flush all the toilets to make sure there are no leaks.
3. Major Systems
Turn on the central heat and central air. Are they working? Stick around the house long enough to actually feel that the temperature has changed and that you’re not just hearing and feeling the fan blowing.
4. Remotes and Keypads
If your home has a home security system, does every keypad work? Check the garage door opener – does it work? If some rooms have fans operated by remote control, are the controls there? Many homeowners unwittingly pack remotes when they move, so make sure everything you need is in place.
5. Exterior Review
Check steps, sidewalks, driveways, and patios for any noticeable change. Look at all doors and windows to verify they are in the same condition. Check the roof for changes. Double check garage, garage door and exterior lights.
It might sound crazy to think the seller could take some outside plants with them, but it happens. Check your home’s yard to see if anything is missing. Also, if there’s an automatic irrigation system, make sure it’s in good working order as well.
7. Lights and Other Fixtures
Make sure all lights and switchplates are in place. Make sure that every light and switchplate that should stay in the house is actually there. Do bathroom fans and kitchen fans work properly? Verify that all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are functioning.
The sellers may have been required to make certain repairs or upgrades before closing. Make sure that the inspection repairs have been completed properly during this last walkthrough.
If the property has a pool, is the pool clean? Is all of the pool cleaning equipment there? Do you understand how the pool systems work? If the seller hasn’t demonstrated how to work the pool equipment or you haven’t owned a pool previously, paying a pool contractor for a service call to explain how to maintain the pool will be a worthwhile investment.
Sellers are required to leave the house broom swept and free of their possessions. Make sure the home, the garage, the yard, and any outbuildings are empty and clean, unless specified otherwise in your contract. This is especially important when it comes to large or hazardous items; you don’t want to be stuck having to remove them yourself.
If you are unable to attend the final walk through, you may have a family member or trusted advisor be there in your place.
This post has been authored by Eric Slifkin, REALTOR® serving South Florida’s Treasure Coast. You can reach me at 888-288-1765, or visit my Web site. As your resource for information on new or resale homes throughout the Treasure Coast, please be sure to contact me about any home you may find on the Web, yard sign or ad and I will research the property, arrange showings and handle all the details.