When purchasing a home, the closing process can seem complex and never-ending. Depending on your particular situation, it can take several weeks from the time your offer is accepted until you sign the papers. While you may be anxious to sign on the dotted line and receive the keys to your new property, one step that you should never skip is the walkthrough.
What is the Walkthrough?
The walkthrough is very simple. This is when you and your real estate agent will walk through the home that you are planning to purchase to make sure it is in the condition that was agreed upon in the offer. You will make sure that all repairs were completed as promised, no new damage has occurred, all personal belongings from the seller are removed, etc. Typically, the walkthrough occurs on your closing day or a few days prior. The closer to closing day, the lower the risk that something could happen to the home. You also want to make sure that you complete the walkthrough after the seller moves out. If the seller is not careful during the moving process, furniture and other items could bump walls, break fixtures, etc.
Keep in mind that a walkthrough is not mandatory. It is not something that you have to complete before you can purchase the property. However, it is highly recommended as it can save you from a large financial burden after taking ownership of the property.
Why is the Walkthrough so Important?
The final walkthrough is critical and is not a process you should rush through. It is also not a task that you should skip over. Once you sign the closing documents and ownership is transferred to you, all repairs in the home will be your responsibility. If you did not complete the walkthrough properly and new issues occur, it becomes your responsibility to fix it and to pay for it.
Tips to Ensure the Walkthrough is a Success
A walkthrough is a waste of time unless you know what to look for during the process. A few tips to ensure it is a success include:
- Make sure your agent comes along with you. An experienced real estate agent has completed dozens of these walkthroughs and will know exactly what to look for and the steps to take if issues are discovered.
- Don’t spend all of your time indoors. You must also carefully check the exterior of the home. For example, you will want to make sure that all debris, garbage, and old belongings are hauled off the property. You will also want to make sure that all garage door openers are there, keys to the shed or other storage systems are accessible, and no landscaping such as certain trees or bushes are dug up.
- Check all water fixtures such as the tub, shower, faucet, etc. to ensure there are no leaks. Also, make sure all toilets work.
- Test all appliances throughout the home such as the stove and the fridge to make sure they are working well.
- Turn on both the furnace and the air conditioner to make sure all major appliances are still in working condition.
- Look at the cleanliness of the home. If the home has not been cleaned well and is excessively dirty, you will want to discuss your next steps with your agent.
When you are smart and take your time with your final walkthrough, you will feel more confident as you sign your closing documents. You will have no unwanted surprises as you walk in the door on moving day and fewer mistakes will be made during the process.
If you have any questions about the walkthrough or the buying process, contact an experienced real estate agent at Locations North today.
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