Expert Advice: Final Walk-Through Tips For Every Homebuyer

Congratulations! You’re about to cross the finish line of the home-buying process. Amidst all the excitement of closing on your new home, one critical step is easy to overlook—the final walkthrough. This essential part of the closing process ensures your new home is in the same condition (or better) as when you wrote your offer and ready for you to move in.

In this blog, we'll review a final walkthrough checklist and provide real estate tips and insights to help you avoid last-minute surprises.

Understanding the Final Walkthrough

The final walkthrough is a crucial inspection that takes a few hours to a few days before closing on a home. When possible, it is prudent to schedule your final walkthrough 1-3 days before your closing day. Unlike a home inspection or appraisal, the purpose of the final walkthrough is to verify that the property is in the same condition as when you made your offer. Additionally, it confirms that any repairs negotiated during the home-buying process have been completed satisfactorily.

Why the Final Walkthrough Matters

Skipping the final walkthrough can lead to unexpected and often costly surprises. Imagine moving into your new home only to discover that essential repairs weren't made or, worse, that new issues have arisen. Conducting a thorough final walkthrough helps you ensure that the seller made any agreed-upon repairs and that no new issues have popped up.

Key Items on Your Final Walkthrough Checklist
  1. Check All Light Fixtures and Outlets: Turn every light fixture on and off to ensure it functions correctly. Use an outlet tester to check all electrical outlets for proper operation.
  2. Run Water in All Faucets and Inspect Plumbing: Run water in every faucet and check for leaks under sinks. Flush toilets to ensure proper function and check for any signs of plumbing issues, such as slow drains or unusual odors.
  3. Test All Appliances: Test all kitchen appliances, including the oven, stove, microwave, refrigerator, dishwasher, and garbage disposal. If the washer and dryer are included in the sale, ensure they are operational.
  4. Inspect Heating and Cooling Systems: Turn on the heating and cooling systems to ensure they work properly. Check that the thermostat is functioning and that air flows correctly through the vents.
  5. Open and Close All Doors and Windows: Check all doors and windows to ensure they open and close smoothly. Pay attention to any signs of damage or difficulty in operation.
  6. Verify Completed Repairs: Ensure all repairs agreed upon during the negotiation process have been completed. Refer to the repair list and inspect each item to confirm that the work has been done to your satisfaction.
Common Issues with Vacant Homes

Vacant homes can present unique challenges. Plumbing issues, pest infestations, and other problems can arise when a property is left unoccupied for an extended period. Having the listing or buyer’s agent check the home regularly until closing is helpful. They should run water through the pipes and flush toilets to prevent unpleasant odors and potential plumbing problems.

The Role of Your Real Estate Agent

Your buyer's agent plays a vital role in the final walkthrough. They should accompany you and help identify any issues that need to be addressed. Experienced agents like Andrew Finney understand the importance of this step and are masters of the closing process. Skilled buyer agents will ensure that all aspects of the property are thoroughly checked.

What to Do If Issues Are Found

If you discover any problems during the final walkthrough, addressing them before closing is essential. Communicate any issues to the seller through your agent. Depending on the severity of the problems, you may negotiate further repairs or request a credit at closing to cover the cost of fixing the issues.

The final walkthrough is a pivotal step in the home-buying process. By following this comprehensive guide and working closely with your real estate agent, you can ensure that your new home is ready for you to move in without any unexpected issues.

Remember, taking the time to perform a thorough final walkthrough can prevent potential future headaches and additional costs. 

If you plan to buy or sell a home in the Las Vegas, NV area, please contact me

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