Slow and Steady Wins the Race - How to Approach the Final Walk-Through
By Keith Loria
One of the most exciting times in a prospective buyer’s life is when they get ready to move into a new home, however, it’s important to not let the novelty of a new space cloud your judgment when it comes time for the final walk-through.
A critical step in the process, the final walk-through is an important piece of the puzzle when it comes to making sure the house is the way it’s supposed to be and in the condition agreed to for the sale. While most buyers are eager to get the process over with so they can sign their name and move in, real estate professionals across the board caution against taking the final walk-through lightly.
While most walk-throughs are typically conducted on the day of the sale, a few hours before the scheduled closing, some people prefer to schedule the walk-through earlier to build in time for any issues that may need to be fixed.
When it comes to the actual walk-through, it’s important to test all the appliances to make sure they’re in working condition. It’s also a good idea to run faucets and check for leaks, test the air conditioner and heating unit and make sure all items have been removed from the basement, attic and garage.
You’ll also want to examine anything else that was in the contract that the seller was supposed to fix. For these particular items, ask the seller to provide receipts and warranty information in case something does go wrong after you move in.
And while it’s not a requirement, some prospective buyers choose to bring their home inspector to the walk-through. While this typically costs about 25 percent of the original fee, it could be worth it if major items were supposed to be fixed.
If a problem does present itself during the final walk-through, especially a serious matter that could cost thousands of dollars to fix, you can get your real estate lawyer involved and have them try to work with the seller’s lawyer on a proper settlement, or leave it to your agent to renegotiate. Another option is to ask for a credit from the seller, a side document to deal with the problem or an escrow of the sales proceeds. If the seller isn’t willing to work with you, you may need to threaten to walk away.
Remember, a final walk-through is not meant as an opportunity to renegotiate—although that can happen in some cases. Instead, think of it as more of an inspection to not only make sure nothing has changed since the time you agreed to buy the home, but to ensure everything the seller was supposed to repair has been taken care of.
For more information about final walk-throughs, contact our office today.
Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.