Doing Your Final Walk-Through

Right At Home Daily: Buying It: Closing the Deal
Doing Your Final Walk-Through
by Barbara B. Buchholz for Right At Home Daily

Do you know what to check on your final walk-through of the property you're about to buy?

This is the time to make sure that nothing new is wrong with your future home, and that anything you previously found defective has been corrected.

Ideally, the walk-through should be conducted after the sellers have moved out, and a few hours before the closing. Sometimes, moving companies do damage as they are taking boxes or furniture in and out of houses, or sellers take personal items or fixtures they shouldn't. Also, the walk-through is the time to make sure appliances and plumbing are in good working order.

You needn't bring a magnifying glass, but you should have your eyes wide open, a pad and pencil in hand to jot down any problems, and a written list of what was to be corrected to make sure it has been taken care of.

While it isn't essential, it is helpful if your real estate agent is with you during the final walk-through, so he or she can immediately convey any problems to the other side's agent and attorney.

If problems surface at this time in the deal, your best option may be to agree on a monetary payment. As you approach closing, there probably won't be time to get anything changed or repaired. If the seller agrees, for example, to clean the house or replace damaged window screens, and you're just two hours from closing, you won't want to wait until these items have actually been taken care of before you close. That's why an exchange of cash typically works best.

The main goal of the walk-through is to be sure that the home is in the same condition it was when you signed the contract, except for normal wear and tear.

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