The Importance of the Final WalkthroughArticle by Heather Chilvers, Coldwell Banker Bermuda Realty
You are about to purchase your new home and your lawyer suggests doing one final walkthrough the property several days before closing – why do lawyers suggest this and what should you be looking for?
Interestingly enough we have always offered this service to our buyers. However, more and more real estate agents are also recommending that the buyers do a final walkthrough of their new home before closing, and there are several reasons for this:
To ensure the property’s condition hasn’t changed since you viewed it and made an offer on it (it should be in the same condition). Also to check that any items have been left or repairs made in accordance with your sale and purchase agreement. Remember A final walk-through isn’t a home inspection. You’ve already done that by now (or should have), if it was a condition of sale.Here are a few things you should keep an eye out for, take along a checklist of things to do during the final walk-through, including:
Vacant possession: (if required) No people, no pets and absolutely no personal possessions. Check in particular any sheds/basements or garages, these are sometimes the areas that get forgotten. Look in storage areas to make sure no trash or unwanted items remain. Remember, that as a courtesy sometimes sellers will leave behind matching paint and hard to find matching tiles or floor coverings. If the home is vacant, it’s even more important to do a final walk-through. Do a visual spot-check of ceilings, walls and floors.
Condition: the house should be in the same (no worse) condition that it was when you signed. It is not necessary (as it would be with a tenancy) to deliver up in sparkling condition. Indeed many houses that need renovation are far from that. However, as clean as when viewed and any damage occasioned by vacating should be made good.
Be sure the seller hasn’t removed any fixtures, such as chandeliers, that they agreed to leave behind. Check all major appliances are there and have been left in the condition agreed upon. For the most part appliances, air conditioners, water heaters etc. are included ‘as is’, however sometimes different conditions are agreed upon, what does your sale and purchase agreement say?
Check the exterior of the home, especially if there have been strong wind or rain storms since your last visit. Check screens and storm windows. If they’ve been stored, make sure you know where they are and that they’re in good shape. Do a quick check of the grounds. If the grass was mown and neat and tidy when you viewed the property, it should be in the same condition at closing.
Taking your time for one last inspection is a good investment. After all, you don’t want to spend the first weeks in your new home cleaning up or making unexpected repairs.
Heather Chilvers is amongst Coldwell Banker Bermuda Realty’s Leading Sales Representatives. She has been working in Real Estate for 28 years. If you have a question for Heather, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 332 1793. All questions will be treated confidentially.
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