Becoming a homeowner is an exciting process and many cannot wait to finally move in. Once the mortgage loan is approved and all of the underwriting has been completed, its just a matter of time before the closing date approaches. As it does, there is more than just packing and getting a moving truck that needs to be checked off of your to do list. Before your home purchase it officially complete, you will have to perform a final walk-through of the home. It takes place a few days before closing as a means to provide homebuyers a last-minute reprieve—just in case something has occurred since you first made an offer that may prevent you from wanting to finalize the sale.
Before the walk-through, you should have these items on hand:
- Pen and notepad
- Home inspection report
- Contract describing any repairs or changes that were requested as part of the sale agreement
Here’s what you should look for during your final walk through of your new home purchase. Having your home inspection report and contract will help you look for specific details that were to be addressed and ensure that they have been.
Windows and Doors
- Open and close each to verify how well they can open, close, and lock.
- Check for any cracks in the glass or any imperfections in the seals.
- Identify if any are missing screens or have tears in the screens.
- Look for any signs of water damage around the windows, doors, or baseboards nearby.
- Check all appliances to verify if the work, including the refrigerator, microwave, oven/stovetop, and dishwasher.
- Check for water damage around the dishwasher and sink.
- Turn on the sink faucet to verify water pressure and how quickly the temperature changes between hot and cold.
- Also watch any appliance for leaks, including the fridge. Also check the ice machine and water dispenser if the refrigerator has one for functionality, damage, or other issues.
- If the sink has a garbage disposal, be sure it works.
- Check water pressure by turning on the water in the shower and sink. This also lets you get a good idea how well they drain.
- Turn on both the hot and cold water to see how quickly the water warms up and how hot it can get. This will give you a rough idea on how well the water heater works.
- Watch for any leaks or drips from the shower or sink faucets.
- Flush the toilet to see how well it works and for any damage around the base of the toilet.
Washer and Dryer
- Turn on both to verify they work and that there are not any leaks or issues with functionality.
- Check the washer following the end of a cycle to ensure the water drains as it should.
- If there is a utility sink, check the faucets for leaks and any water damage around the sink area.
- Using the charger you brought, check each of the outlets to make sure they work.
- Keep an eye out for any damaged outlets or covers.
- Run both the heat and the AC to make sure both systems function as they should.
- Check each of the vents for output of air or blockages.
- Check to see what size filter the system requires so you can prepare to handle the maintenance it requires.
- Inspect the drain pan or pipe for blockage.
- Check around the water heater for signs of water damage.
- Running water through faucets throughout the house can give you an idea of how long it takes to warm up the water and how evenly pressurized the flow is.
Potential Concerns or Issues
Keep notes using the pen and paper you brought along and cross check it with the home inspection report for any discrepancies. Also compare it to your contract—were any of the issues on the agreement not corrected?
Should you discover new issues that are high priority—such as water damage or leaks, mold, or require major repairs or maintenance—discuss these concerns with your realtor and the seller’s realtor. If anything was not fixed that should have been per your purchase agreement, also bring this up. However, minor things such as a chip in an outlet cover that does not affect the functionality or pose a risk to residents, it may be best to address yourself after moving in. Becoming a homeowner comes with a reasonable amount of responsibility and maintenance.
It is important to take your time during your final walk through. Once the closing date arrives and documents are signed and keys exchanged—it’s too late to back out or request changes.