Congratulations, you’ve finally found the house of your dreams! Now that the seller has accepted your offer, the inspection done and your loan is being processed, it seems that all you need to think about is moving into your new house. But not so fast, before you even think about taking ownership of the house, you need to do a final walkthrough. This is to ensure that the property’s condition has not changed and the terms of the contract will be met.
Homeowners, especially first timers should not breeze through a walkthrough. They should take the process seriously. Checking that all the faucets are running and making sure that windows open is not a thorough walkthrough. To avoid future headaches, here are some tips to consider:
Print a checklist of the things you need to make sure are working properly for your walkthrough. Your checklist should contain all the things that need to be checked if they are working such as:
The above are just examples of items that need to be included of the things you need to check during your walkthrough.
During a sale, buyers and sellers usually agree upon certain things that need to be repaired or replaced before the buyer takes possession of the house. Most of the time, these details are outlined in a contract. Always have the contract on hand to make sure that all the agreed upon details were met or are being worked on. Having it around during a walkthrough is handy in case you need to refer to something.
Some sellers are notorious for leaving their junk behind. This is why it is important to check every nook and cranny. Check the attic, garage, pantry, basement and other possible areas of junk or garbage. In fact, it is best if the house is completely empty. Remember that when you take possession of the house, everything in it is yours. So if they left a toxic kind of paint for example, it will be your headache to make sure that it is disposed of properly.
Be Emotionally Prepared
In some cases, furniture, fixtures and personal belongings are still in the home when a buyer views the house. Some buyers fall in love with a certain pieces of furniture, painting or even the interior design. But after escrow closes, you’re faced with an empty home which can feel cold and sterile. An empty home can show imperfections that weren’t clear when the house had furniture. So be prepared emotionally because empty homes could seem lonely and sad during a walkthrough.
Check Outside Too
Checking the outside should also be part of your walkthrough. If you are buying a single family home for example, you also need to check the exterior of the house as well as the grounds. Some owners take plants and even trees with them. In some cases the exterior could be damaged especially after a storm or extreme weather.
It’s always best to keep a cool head during a walkthrough. Make sure to schedule it at least a week before closing. Looking for more real estate advice and tips? Check out our blog for more helpful tips and advice here.