A final walkthrough is usually one of the last steps involved in buying a new home, frequently performed anywhere from 24 hours to a week prior to the closing date. If you haven’t scheduled a walkthrough yet, then your first tip is to do so right away—if you’ve already settled on buying the home, that is.
Though you’ll likely have already had the home inspected—and any glaring needs addressed—long before the walkthrough, it could be your last chance to verify that everything is humming and tip-top inside your new home. Here are a few simple ways to make the most of it.
1. Bring a Checklist
There are so many small details to check and double-check during a final walkthrough, and the scheduled time, often about 30 minutes, can pass by before you know it. It’s important to understand that you’re dealing primarily with last-minute details, ensuring that requested changes and repairs have been made—this isn’t a thorough inspection, which should have already been completed. Still, because time is of the essence, you’ll want to know what you’re looking for before you begin.
2. Know If the Home Has Been Vacant
Whether or not the sellers have actually been living in the house just prior to closing is a very important, often overlooked detail when it comes to performing final checks on the property. In many cases, the sellers will be out of the picture long before the closing date. When a home has been vacant, it’s especially important to check for issues that can quickly become magnified—like leaking faucets or pests—between the seller’s move-out and your own move-in date.
3. Bring Everything, and Be Prepared
Because the walkthrough will happen quickly, make sure you’ve prepared any questions or last-minute requests beforehand. You’ll want to spend as little time as possible trying to remember that one extra item—or shuffling through your notes to dig it up. Make sure you have handy the contract, home inspection documents, and anything else you may need to consult.
4. Have the Seller There If Possible
Sometimes the seller has handed over the reins to the realtor and bolted to another city, state, or country long before the closing date. But if at all possible, it’s always a good idea to have the home’s most recent occupants with you as you perform the final walkthrough. Though they may not be brutally honest about every flaw and minute detail, they’re the only ones who’ve actually lived there—which makes them an invaluable resource for certain specific questions and concerns.
The final walkthrough will go quickly, and there many things of which you’ll want to be aware—but if you’re adequately prepared, there shouldn’t be anything to stress over.