Buying Your First Home – Three Things to Look For With a Final Walk Through

At this point in the process of buying your first home, you are probably thinking that there can’t be anything else to do other than sign the paperwork and pay the money. You are wrong. There is one final step for you to take if you decide you want take it. It is the final walk through. As a buyer, I recommend that you do one more tour of your upcoming residence. There are certain things you will want to check on the final walk through. At the bare minimal, you want to bring a measure tape to see if you can fit your furniture like you think you can.   I do recommend you do the following three things during your final walk through while buying your first home.

  1. Were the repairs done properly – Remember that repair amendment you negotiated back before your  finance approval. You were probably wondering when you would get a chance to ensure these repairs were done properly. Now is that time. The structural repairs, like foundation and roof, should be done before the final walk through as you want to make sure these are done properly before this stage of the process. Everything else, you can check at the final walkthrough. You can handle the cosmetic repairs, but if it is a repair that requires a particular set of expertise, you will need to make sure that expert is with you during the walk through. What happens if the repair has not been done properly? You need to have your agent get with the listing agent to make sure this is done before you close. For this reason, it is always best to schedule your final walk through a few days before  the closing date. You don’t want the closing t be delayed because the seller does not have enough time to make that one final adjustment to the repairs. Due to the repair amendment, the seller is required to make sure the repairs are done properly or face defaulting on the contract. Please be firm and don’t give into the voice telling you it is fine if it isn’t perfect.  because you will hate that voice in six months when the repair starts to haunt you by always being there for you to see. It is always best to hold the seller accountable and get the repair done correctly.

  2. Damages or anything missing from the property – After you are done checking on the contracted repairs, it is time to see if there had been any damages done to the property since you last saw the house. Did a storm come through and knock a tree on the house? Did the seller take on karate and accidentally punch a hole in the wall? There are any number of things that could go wrong during the final 30 days a contract is in place, which results in damage to the property. Sellers are contractually obligated to provide you with a property as it was when executed the contract. If the seller does not want to make the repairs, you can terminate the contract and move on. You have the option of extending the time the seller has to bring the property back to is original condition (for up to 15 days). Finally, you can just accept the property as is as long as it is insurable and the mortgage provider agrees to it. You also want to make sure the seller has not removed anything from the property that should have stayed. Sellers can exclude any accessories or improvements from the sell of the house, but they have to explicit state as such in the contract. If you were expecting those pretty living room drapes to stay and they are gone, the seller is in default and you need to let your agent know about it. If the seller refuses to bring it back, than some sort of financial concession should be reached to make up for the lose of the improvement or accessory. Deals have fallen apart because of this issue so it is best to check to make sure you are getting what you expect as a buyer. Once again, be firm and stick to your guns. You have a right to that property.

  3. Get to know your future house better – Final walk through give buyers an opportunity to spend some more time in their home and start to get familiar with it. Many buyers will want to plan on how to arrange their furniture and what colors to paint the walls. Do they want to put in a certain type of flooring before moving into the house? The kitchen should be looked at closely to see where everything will go. Bathrooms will need to be examined also for the same reason. Bedrooms can often be complicated in how you arrange your furniture so make sure to spend some time in the bedrooms. If you have kids, the final walk through is a great time to have them visit gently their rooms to help with any anxiety they might be feeling about the move. Kids should not stay the whole time as bored children can sometimes distract you from what you need to be doing with the final walk through. Some other useful things to know is where are the outside trash cans currently stored and any spare flooring or paint left by the seller. What about the garage door openers? Is there an alarm system? If there is, do spend some time looking it over. Please do remember, however, not to overstay your welcome. Most seller are most likely still packing and getting ready to move. You don’t want to spend more than a couple of hours on you final walk through to allow the sellers a chance back into the house to continue their preparations to leave. 

Final walk through are important then to you buying your first home because it allows you to make sure the contracted repairs have been done correctly. It gives you a chance to inspect the property for any damages or missing improvements or accessories. You can also take a little time for you, and you family, to get used to the new home.