Once you’ve received the Clear to Close, we’ll schedule the final walk-through. This usually occurs the day before or the day of closing and is a chance for you to walk through the property and make sure it’s in the same condition as it was during the inspection. While it is ideal for us to be able to conduct the final walk-through once the seller has completely moved out, this is not always possible (as some sellers will move out the morning of closing in order to do a door-to-door move) — we will do our best to schedule your final walk-through both at a time that works for you and once the home is vacant. The final walk-through can vary in length, based on the size of the home and the number of repairs we are checking on. In some cases, the seller’s REALTOR® may attend in case any problems do come up. Please let us know what day and time would be best for your final walk-through.
Here’s what you should check at the final walk-through:
- Verify that all repairs have been made. We should have already obtained copies of paid receipts/invoices for any repairs (no later than a few days prior to closing) and any related warranties in advance of the walk through.
- Test all of the appliances to make sure they are still working.
- Check to make sure the sellers didn’t damage anything moving out — this includes cosmetic damage.
- Look to make sure all items included in the sales price (lighting fixtures, blinds, curtains, etc.) are still there. This includes anything that was attached to the wall previously such as shelves, TV mounts, etc. unless noted as being excluded on the contract. (Remember when we advised that you take photos of every room and closet when you attend the home inspection — this is why!)
- Screens are in place or stored somewhere (if they are, in fact, included in the contract).
- Test the functionality of any items that are easily overlooked, such as the intercom, doorbell, alarm, HVAC, and water heater, to make sure they all work
- Property should be in “broom clean” condition meaning it doesn’t have to be perfectly clean, but should show signs of having been swept clean, unless the contract calls for the home to have been professionally cleaned, for which we should have a paid receipt/invoice.
- Ask when the trash is picked up, where the parking is, where the storage unit is, etc. if we don’t already have this information.
- Locate any instruction books and warranties for appliances and fixtures.
- Make sure all personal items of the seller and all debris have been removed, including clothing, food in the fridge, bags of trash, and anything else that wasn’t disclosed in the contract or the seller’s property disclosure to remain the with property.
Here is what the final walk through IS NOT:
- It’s not a time to have your parents/other family and friends come look at the property or for contractors give you estimates; this is not a time for additional parties to visit the home. All of that can wait until the next day once you officially own the property.
- It’s not possible to begin moving boxes or other items in to the property at the walk through. That has to wait until you officially close and you legally own the property.
- It’s not when we receive the keys. That will happen at the end of closing.
At the end of the walk-through, we will inquire as to how you will get the keys, any gate or entrance fobs, access cards for the community pool and amenities (if applicable), the mailbox key, etc. It’s most common that these items are given to us at closing (if the seller will not be attending closing, they will b e dropped off either at our office or with the closing attorney prior to your closing time). They are then given to you at the end of closing.
What happens if you find damage at the walk through or the seller didn’t do one of the repairs he was supposed to do?
While this is rare, it is possible that we will discover, at the final walk-through, that the seller did not complete a repair they agreed to or that they or their movers have damaged the property during their move-out.
You have three options if you discover damage at the walk through or the seller didn’t repair something he/she was legally obligated to repair:
- You can delay closing by a few days/weeks and ask the sellers to repair whatever items are damaged
- You can ask the sellers to put money into escrow to cover the cost of the repairs so you can still close on time (if your lender and the closing attorney will allow).
- You can ask the sellers to provide a credit to cover the cost of the repairs so you can still close on time, but have the funds to pay for the needed repairs after closing (again, if your lender and the closing attorney will allow).
The first option may have some implications to you — the most important of which is that your interest rate lock may expire while you wait for the seller to complete repairs, which may end up costing you a substantial amount of money. The second two options may require the approval of your lender and/or the closing attorney.
If the sellers are not willing to do any of the above you can cancel the contract and walk away from purchasing the property. That rarely happens, though, and is the last option if we’ve exhausted all other options.
Please let us know if you have any questions regarding the final walk-through. We’re almost there!