One of the last things we will do when purchasing a property is the final walk through. This usually occurs a day or two before closing and is done to make sure everything pertaining to the property is as expected per the contract.
To arrive at this point means the inspection, appraisal, title search and estoppel have all been completed. Any issues arising from those items should have been worked out or negotiated by this point.
Final Walk Through
Either your agent or the seller’s agent will take you for the final walk through of a property. There are several items we want to check when doing this to avoid any problems at closing.
As you walk through the property visual inspect everything to make sure it’s in the condition it should be.
- Are there now broken floor tiles that were previously in fine condition?
- A broken window or maybe damaged sheet rock in a bedroom?
- Damage to the exterior siding?
These are just examples of things than can pop-up. Just because a seller is supposed to keep the property as is when the contract is signed does not guarantee they will. The walk through gives us the opportunity to discover any potential surprises before signing the closing documents
Items that Convey
This will be listed in the contract and basically states what items will stay with the property upon sale. It can be anything from furniture to lighting fixtures.
Items you generally see convey are:
- Garage door openers
- Smoke detectors
- Ceiling fans, blinds, storm shutters
- Security gate and other access devices
In your sales contract there is a section labeled “property description.” It is there you see many of these items listed.
There should also be a line item to add any additional items that may not be pre-populated in the contract. An example would be when furniture is being included in the purchase.
A line for items that will not be included should exist as well. For example, if the seller is taking an upgraded lighting fixture they installed. It would be listed there.
Therefore, when doing the walk through not only do we need to check the property’s condition, but that everything that should be there indeed is.
If there were any needed repairs discovered during the inspection and we negotiated the seller is to have them rectified before closing – The walk through is a very good time to verify that.
When items are discovered during an inspection there are two things that can happen.
- The seller gives the buyer credits at closing for the expense of those repairs
- The seller has those items remedied by closing
If it is the latter then verify that any expected repairs have in fact been done.
Along with paying mind to the above items, be sure to spot check anything you can. Flush the toilets, turn on the heat and/or air conditioning, etc.
On regular sales the power and water should still be on. If it’s a foreclosure this may not be an option.
However – if possible I turn on the utilities during the inspection period on foreclosed property purchases to get a full account of the condition and functionality. Foreclosures are often vacant so nothing should change from the time of inspection with exception of vandalism.