Before going to settlement, the buyer and their agent will visit the property to do a final walk-through. During the final walk-through you want to check to be sure that the contract and post agreed upon terms have been met by the seller. You also want to make sure that the property condition has not changed significantly.
It is important that you ensure the seller has the utilities connected thru settlement, and to the final walk-through have your contract and all agreed terms that impact the property. Having this in writing will make the process easier.
Here is a check list of things to look out for:
- General: make sure agreed upon repairs have been made, obtain any receipts, no other damage has occurred since the home inspection, and make sure the property is broom clean.
- Landscaping: ensure that all trees, shrubs and plants are in place as previously seen, unless detailed otherwise in the contract. Some plantings are very expensive to replace and add to the charm of a home.
- Roof: make sure it has not sustained any damage due to storm damage (e.g., hail, wind damage, tree limbs, etc.).
- Foundation/Basement: ensure that there is no water penetration or musty smell that could suggest a water issue.
- HVAC: make sure that your heating and air conditioning are working properly. Check to make sure the vents are not blocked.
- Electrical/Plumbing: ensure they are working properly by using an electrical tester (about $7) and turning on all water valves and running, check under sinks for leaks, make sure no drains are clogged, and flush all toilets to ensure proper operation.
- Appliances: verify to see that all are present and run them each one cycle to see they are operating as expected.
- Walls, floors & cabinets: is there any new damage to the floors or walls after the move? Do all cabinet door and drawers open and close properly?
- Repairs: were agreed upon repairs made? Seller should provide invoices at settlement in the event a repair fails so as to contact the vendor.
- Windows, Screens and Storms: review all windows for possible new cracks or breakage. Also, make sure all storms and screens are either in place or in storage and that they are in good shape.
- Doors & locks: review to make sure all open and close properly and they are not cracked or broken.
- Fixtures: light fixtures, curtains, chandeliers, garage door openers, and other items that agreed upon should be in the property.
- Cleanliness: although you will probably clean the property, it should have been cleaned and all the garbage removed. This includes bathrooms, inside refrigerators, ovens and dishwashers, oft time overlooked.
The pressure at closing time can cause you to hurry a final walk-through. Make sure you conduct a final walk-through with this checklist. This will help provide peace of mind and you will soon have a new home!