What to Look for during a Final Walk-Through

Posted on Feb 18 2015 - 9:47am by Suzanne De Vita

iStock_000046493762_LargeYou know the story: The sluggish tortoise, weary of the swift hare’s taunts, challenges him to a race. Certain he’ll win, the hare stops off for a roadside siesta. We all know what happens next.

It’s not uncommon for buyers to want to rush closing – they’re steps away from owning a new home! – but as Aesop illustrates, there’s no such thing as a sure thing. Even if the finish line’s in sight, a pesky tortoise can derail the sale during the final walk-through.

Rather than speeding through the process (or dozing off), do your best to evaluate the home as thoroughly as possible. Examine both the exterior and interior for any issues that may have developed after the inspection – particularly if the seller has already vacated the home. This includes:

  • Assessing the landscape and grounds
  • Confirming all door and window locks can be opened and secured properly
  • Opening and closing doors and windows
  • Testing the HVAC system and all appliances
  • Turning on and off all indoor and outdoor lights
  • Checking temperature and water pressure for all faucets, noting any drips or leaks and flushing toilets
  • Confirming any required repair work

Aside from a discerning eye, it’s a good idea to bring the contract, inspection report and any seller disclosures with you. And don’t leave without obtaining:

  • Keys to every door
  • Alarm codes (if applicable)
  • Remote garage openers
  • System and appliance manuals
  • Receipts for any promised repairs

Feel free to have your inspector tag along for the final walk-through – a second visit generally costs less than the first.

Related: How to Prepare for a Home Inspection

Lastly, watch for any items left behind by the seller, unless they were included in the transaction.

SuzSuzanne De Vita is RISMedia’s Online Associate Editor and social butterfly. She’d probably lose to both the tortoise and the hare.


3 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Monique Geremia February 19, 2015 at 2:21 pm -

    Good afternoon Suzanne,

    This is an interesting article.
    If one should find any issues with the items you referenced, what would be the recourse at the closing table?

    Thank you,

  2. Bill Sundin, Realtor February 19, 2015 at 2:46 pm -

    Maybe the purpose of a final walkthrough is different by State. In California, it is up to 5 days before closing, never after; so, no keys, no remotes. It is also only to verify essentially the same condition as the offering date, and any repairs completed; far too late to find new things wrong.

  3. Brad Jorda, Real Estate Broker February 19, 2015 at 3:58 pm -

    Just like Bill Sundin indicated. In Michigan ours is within 48 hours of close and it’s suggested to do it on the way to closing. Almost everything mentioned in this article I’m sure I don’t know one Realtor who agrees this is the time to do these things. Not a helpful tool to many buying a home. I find it to be misleading in our state and it sounds as though it perhaps maybe in other states as well.