The Final Walkthrough: Don't Mind
the Little Things
By Keith Loria
After you’ve found the perfect home, made an offer, negotiated the price, had
an inspection and ensured your mortgage, it’s time to think about the final
walkthrough. Normally done on the day of, or the day before the settlement, the
final walkthrough is the last piece of the puzzle that needs to be completed
before you sign the final contract.
When doing a final walkthrough inspection, you’re not so much looking for
little things that are wrong, but instead making sure the house is in the same
condition as when you agreed to buy it. It’s important that you don’t spend
time nitpicking if you see nail holes in the wall or a slight de-colorization
on the floor where a carpet was. These are small issues that you will deal with
eventually and shouldn’t affect signing your name on the contract.
What could affect the contract being signed is if things that were agreed to
stay are gone, such as a washing machine or curtains, or things that were
supposed to be removed are still there, such as old paint cans in the basement
or a heavy, broken fridge in the garage.
It’s also important to make sure that everything contracted to be done after
the home inspection was actually done. For instance, if the sellers agreed to
replace the old water heater, but didn’t, that’s grounds for some financial
changes come settlement time. In many instances, the seller may have simply run
out of time and thought taking the money off the price was worth the hassle
putting a new one in would cost.
While you may be eager to complete the final walkthrough and get the contract
signed, don’t rush the inspection. Take your time and make sure everything is
how it should be. You may want to run the appliances through a full cycle to
ensure that they work properly. Be sure to turn on all faucets and showers as
In certain cases, some contracts specify that the buyer do a walkthrough
inspection a week or two prior to settlement, and then schedule a quick meeting
prior to settlement to check off any items previously noted. If these items aren’t
taken care of, things can still be changed in the final settlement regarding
As anyone purchasing a home knows, things can happen at the drop of a hat,
however, the final walkthrough typically goes off without a hitch in the
majority of real estate transactions. In the end, both parties are eager to get
the deal done and you’ll find negotiating over any issues to be a much smother
process than agreeing on a price.
To learn more about final walkthroughs, contact our office today.