After the negotiations, home inspection, and repairs, saying that you’re excited to sign on the dotted line and close on your new house is an understatement. You’re ready. However, it’s standard for you to take one more walk-through of the home before closing — and you shouldn’t take this task lightly. Even if you’ve already scoured the place, it’s possible you missed something, and you definitely don’t want to spend money on a repair after you close and those mortgage payments start.
1. Pack your bag
Before you head out, make sure you carry these items with you:
- Contract. You may need to refer to it and confirm what you see matches the terms.
- Notepad. You’ll want to document the date and time of your walk-through at the top of your notepad. Then take detailed notes.
- Camera. Take pictures to supplement your notes about repairs that haven’t been completed or areas that are damaged.
- Inspection summary. It’s important to double-check that all repairs have been completed as promised.
- Your real estate agent. Don’t do your walk-through without your agent. They can answer any questions as well as guide you through the process.
- Cellphone and charger. The charger could come in handy if you need to confirm that the electrical outlets are functional.
2. Verify repairs
Before looking at anything else, double-check that all repairs stated on the inspection summary have been completed, and that the seller has left behind warranties and receipts for the work. If something breaks, you’ll want to be able to follow up with the person or company that made the repair.
3. Check general sale items
This is where your sales agreement comes into play. It’s just as important to ensure that all the items that convey with the sale are accounted for as it is to ensure that all unwanted items have been removed. You’ll want to schedule your final walk-through in advance of your closing day, just in case it appears that the sellers won’t be able to clear out their belongings before you move in. Additionally, you’ll want to check that all garbage and construction debris from repairs have been removed, and the property has been left clean and damage-free from the movers.
4. Open windows and doors
The last thing you want after move-in is to realize your belongings aren’t secure because of a broken window latch or lock. It may sound like a lot of work, but team up and check all window latches and door locks. You’ll also need to note if any window screens are missing, or if any of the windows are broken or stick when opening (which is more than an inconvenience; it could also be a fire hazard).
5. Head to the bathroom
Walk through all bathrooms and check for mold, water damage, and standing water by the sink, shower, and base of the toilet. Mold can spring up in a matter of days, so it’s extra important that you check for this sign of a potential water leak. Then ensure the toilets aren’t running, and they flush properly. Turn on all the faucets (including the shower head) and verify that they have hot water, don’t spray water, and don’t leak when turned off. All sinks and tubs should drain properly and quickly.
6. Confirm the condition of the kitchen
Check for the same signs of mold or water damage — paying careful attention to areas under the sink, by the dishwasher, and by the refrigerator — and be certain to turn on and off all appliances to ensure they work.
7. Don’t forget the laundry room
While you’re checking appliances, head to the laundry room to turn on and off the washer and dryer. If there is a utility sink, fill it and make sure it drains properly.
8. Make all systems go
Even if it’s a 90-degree day when you walk through your soon-to-be home, turn on the heat and make sure it’s working. Do the same with the air conditioning, and verify that the doorbell, security system, and garage door work.
9. Pull the plug
Check electrical systems by turning lights on and off, checking the circuit breaker (is it clean and working?), and looking at all outlet plate covers to make sure they’re free of damage. This is also where your phone charger comes in handy. Plug your phone in to all outlets and confirm that they’re all working. If not, you may have a deeper problem with electrical wiring that you’ll definitely want to sort out before closing.
10. Take a walk around
While it seems crazy to bring a shrub on your move, sellers have been known to dig up existing plants in their yard during move-out (really!). Once you’re satisfied with the landscape, turn on the irrigation system (if you have one) and confirm that it’s working.
11. Look for signs of pests
Dry rot, spongy floors, and crumbly timbers can all be signs of termites or other pests. Also, be sure to note any droppings. You want to ensure you’re moving in to a truly uninhabited home!
You’re ready for your final walk-through!
Curated by: Trulia's Blog