Realtor - Amanda S. Davidson: Final Walk Through – What Is It and Why Is It Important

Final Walk Through – What Is It and Why Is It Important

 

Final Walk Through – What Is It and Why Is It Important

There can frequently be confusion of what a final walk through is and why it’s important. A final walk through can also be referred to as a pre-closing inspection. The final walk through is not a home inspection. In most cases the buyer will have a home inspection contingency that’s already been fulfilled as part of the contract. The final walk through shouldn’t be an appointment that takes a few hours like a home inspection but, it’s also not something that just takes a few minutes.

 

What Is A Walk Through?

A final walk through is the opportunity the buyer has to verify the property condition prior to going to settlement. Its purpose is to ensure that any agreed-upon repairs have been made and that the property is in substantially the same condition as it was when the purchase agreement was made or at the home inspection depending on which the contract specifies.

 

What Should You Bring?

Bring a copy of your contract and the home inspection report. If any repairs were negotiated in the home inspection contingency removal addendum bring that as well. Having the contract to refer to will allow you to verify that all items that were agreed upon to convey are present in the house. If repairs had been agreed to having the addendum will allow you to verify they were completed. I recommend requesting repair receipts be provided as well, something your agent should have obtained from the seller's agent to provide to you. Your agent should also bring all of the above documents for you but, it’s best to be prepared in case they don’t.

 

Contract image

 

Bring A Checklist

This is quite possibly the most important part of the final walk through. A great real estate agent will also bring a checklist. In Virginia, we have a standard form to complete for our buyers and it’s something every agent should do. What should be checked? Here are several items that should be looked at during the final walk through.

 

Checklist

 

* Walk the exterior and look at the roof, siding, brick, stone, fence, patio, chimney or anything other exterior features the home may have. You want to make sure no damage has occurred.

* Check exterior and interior light fixtures. If one doesn’t appear to be working try replacing the bulb. A great agent will have a lightbulb on hand to test with. Verify the light fixtures are not only still in place but, are the same fixtures as when you made the offer.

* Look at the windows and doors to verify there’s no cracked or broken glass.

* Turn on the heat or air (depending on what season it is). This is something that I do when I first go into a home. If its heat, turn it up a bit and if it’s AC down a bit to make sure you see a change in temperature while you conduct the rest of the walk through.

* Check any appliances that are included in the sale. If a dishwasher and washer are included they’re something I also turn on right when I arrive for a walk through. They can cycle while my buyers and I go through the rest of the house.

* Turn on the water at each faucet to ensure it’s working properly and check for leaking pipes under sinks and leaking bathtubs/showers. Also, check for hot water, that will indicate the water heater is functioning. Flush the toilets as well.

* Check to make sure the seller has left the home broom clean. The term broom clean can be interpreted in different ways. Storage areas should be cleaned out, there should be no garbage or personal belongings left behind. If there are items in the home that shouldn’t have been left they should be removed prior to closing. This, of course, doesn’t apply if the buyer and seller have mutually agreed on certain items remaining with the home.

* If there were items that were agreed upon to be repaired as part of the home inspection contingency removal check to make sure they have been done. Again, a good buyer’s agent will have obtained receipts from the listing agent in advance to provide to the buyer as documentation.

 

Why Is The Final Walk Through Important?

The final walk through isn’t a contingency in the contract but, it is the final step to in the home buying process before closing and not something that should be overlooked. If problems arise during the final walk through it’s important they are addressed quickly. If everything goes well it’s common for agents to have their client sign a walk through form acknowledging one was completed and that they’re satisfied.

 

 

 

Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group

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AMANDA DAVIDSON  
l ASSOCIATE BROKER l  
l AMANDA DAVIDSON REAL ESTATE GROUP BROKERED BY eXp REALTY l

C  703.431.3755   |   O  703.988.3151  |   W  www.amandadavidson.com

A  20130 Lakeview Center Plaza #400 Ashburn, Va 20147




Comment balloon 45 commentsAmanda S. Davidson • January 10 2019 03:47PM

Comments

Applause Applause....and wait wait...here comes a reblog !!!

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) 4 months ago

Great post you have done a great job of explaining the final walk through. Thanks for sharing I hope you have a great week ahead.

Posted by Pat Champion, Call the "CHAMPION" for all your real estate needs (Coldwell Banker Camelot Realty) 4 months ago

Amanda, you have done an excellent job of outlining the important steps to take during a final walk through which is extremely important and should not be overlooked.  Yes, it is the final step in the home buying process

Posted by Joyce Marsh, Regional Manager Regal Christie's Int'l Realty (Regal | Christie's International Real Estate) 4 months ago

Good advice and a good video Amanda S. Davidson . The one thing missing is the timing of the walk-through. You want to schedule it in time that the Seller can rectify any thing wrong you have found... not on the way to the closing.

Posted by Bob "RealMan" Timm, Owner of Ward Co. Notary Services, retired Realtor (Ward County Notary Services) 4 months ago

Good morning,  Amanda- - -this final walk-through offers a very complete guide for buyers especially those who are first time homebuyers or those who may notchave done this for awhile. 

Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393 4 months ago

Amanda, great post, and the walk through is SO important, you have nailed this for buyers!  

Posted by Joan Cox, Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time (House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373) 4 months ago

Perfect video with perfect advice, people in your area are so lucky to have an agent that will always look out for their best interests!

Posted by Brian England, MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ (Arizona Focus Realty) 4 months ago

Great video Amanda and you should do more of them.  Keep up the great work.

Posted by Will Hamm, "Where There's a Will, There's a Way!" (Hamm Homes) 4 months ago

This is excellent advice to share with home buyers. I will schedule a reblog for March 11.

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) 4 months ago

Hi Amanda S. Davidson - Great video that explains the final walk-through process.  You are right. This is a critical step before signing the settlement paperwork.  

I had a client back during our monsoon that could not make it to the walk-through.  I told her I would be happy to make sure everything was in place. We had both been through the house many times. Long story short, there was water puddling in the basement which I thoroughly documented.  It would never have been caught had we not have had rain.  Seller would not work with us so we back out of the deal. I found another home for my client.  She was so thankful.  Very nice job!!!!

Posted by Sheri Sperry - MCNE®, (928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR® (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) 4 months ago

Once on a final walk through the buyers noticed the washer and dryer were different than previously.  The seller said they were the same ones there when they saw the house.  But I happened to have a photo of the W/D there previously and the sellers were busted.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) 4 months ago

EXcellene description of what a Final Walk Through is. It's actually in our Arizona contract, so buyers and sellers know we're doing it.  But it's still a good thing to remind them on the down hill stretch.  Love your video - great job!

Posted by Jan Green, HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN (Value Added Service, 602-620-2699) 4 months ago

Perfect Advice Amanda. Final Walk-throughs are very important, and knowing what to look for is listed above...Excellent!

Posted by Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400, Long Island Home and Condo Specialists (The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803) 4 months ago

Good morning Amanda.  Great tips about the right way to conduct a final walk through inspection.

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) 4 months ago

I like using our Virginia form to make sure the buyers are happy with the final walk through. I don't want anyone to later question something that we overlooked. Nice post!

Posted by Anne Corbin, Serving Lake Anna & Central Virginia (Long and Foster - Lake Anna) 4 months ago

Pat Champion thank you! I hope you have a great week too.

Posted by Amanda S. Davidson, Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale (Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group ) 4 months ago

Joyce Marsh, Daytona Ormond Beach Florida I cringe anytime a buyer overlooks it on one of my listings. Just not good practice. Thank you for your comment!

Posted by Amanda S. Davidson, Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale (Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group ) 4 months ago

Brian England thank you! I enjoy sharing information about the real estate process and hope that it helps a buyer or seller along the way.

Posted by Amanda S. Davidson, Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale (Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group ) 4 months ago

Sheri Sperry - MCNE® oh my. I'm so glad you added your experience to the conversation. Thank goodness there was a monsoon to bring the issue to light. I'm completely shocked the seller wouldn't work with you. Makes me wonder if he or she knew about it all along. 

Posted by Amanda S. Davidson, Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale (Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group ) 4 months ago

Jay Markanich horrible on the sellers part, first to switch them out and then to lie about it. I know those buyers were very grateful you had taken a photo. Trust but, verify. Never a dull moment, this is a new one for me. Thank you for sharing.

Posted by Amanda S. Davidson, Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale (Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group ) 4 months ago

Jan Green I like that it's in your contract and wish it was in ours. We've got a final walk through standard form but, it's separate from the contract and used the day of the walk through. I would think the sellers knowing it's coming helps with how they leave a home. Thank you for stopping by!

Posted by Amanda S. Davidson, Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale (Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group ) 4 months ago

Anne Corbin I do too, the checklist makes it very convenient to go through the home with. Have a great week!

Posted by Amanda S. Davidson, Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale (Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group ) 4 months ago

Amanda, your video was so well done. You hit all of the high points in a short time period and didn't falter one bit. Excellent, my dear! 

Posted by Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate, "Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905 (John L Scott Market Center) 4 months ago

Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate thank you! I always smile when I see your pretty face in my comments. I really appreciate you stopping by. 

Posted by Amanda S. Davidson, Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale (Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group ) 4 months ago

Kudos to you for presenting a video and a written post on a topic that is so important for buyers to understand!

Posted by M.C. Dwyer, Santa Cruz Mountains Property Specialist (Century 21 Showcase REALTORs) 4 months ago

Amanda S. Davidson - Buyers can get really exciting about the closing date but missing the final inspection before closing is a big mistake for all the reasons you pointed out. It really is the most important step to take. Your video and explanations that follow are a must and a keeper for all prospective buyers!

Posted by Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP, Selling Homes Changing Lives (DFW FINE PROPERTIES) 4 months ago

M.C. Dwyer thank you for your comment! Have a great week.

Posted by Amanda S. Davidson, Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale (Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group ) 4 months ago

Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP that's very true, the excitement can cause details that are very important to get overlooked. Thank you for your comment! I hope you are having a wonderful and productive Tuesday!

Posted by Amanda S. Davidson, Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale (Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group ) 4 months ago

Good afternoon Amanda - the checklist is important. Last chance to see that all was done. 

Posted by Grant Schneider, Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes (Performance Development Strategies) 4 months ago

Love the video, well done, great subject, one I can add to my list of videos on  frequently asked questions. Some good ideas here for all buyers to take to heart. 

Posted by Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543, Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line (Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400) 4 months ago

Grant Schneider I think so too, it's not a step to miss.

Posted by Amanda S. Davidson, Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale (Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group ) 4 months ago

Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543 thank you for your kind words. It means a lot to me. 

Posted by Amanda S. Davidson, Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale (Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group ) 4 months ago

Walk throughs are important and more and more...I find it easier to negotiate any needed 'repairs' via a credit to buyer--that way buyer can get them done after closing and chose the contractor of their choice.  Regarding the house being clean, sellers should have the property professionally cleaned after move out but many times they do not.  That is my  opinion--it's a courtesy to the new owners.

Posted by Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR, Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area (Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes) 4 months ago

Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR I like the credit route too. Gives the buyer confidence someone qualified is doing the work correctly. Oh how I wish all sellers would have the house professionally cleaned! It's such a nice welcome home for buyers when they do.

Posted by Amanda S. Davidson, Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale (Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group ) 4 months ago

Walk thrus are one of the most important aspects of a closing.

I learned a hard lesson a few years back when my buyer did a final on a fully furnished home. When we got there it was empty.  When I called the sellers agent to ask about the furniture the sellers were indignant that they did not know where the furniture was.

The buyers refused to close until the furniture was returned and upon hearing that the sellers claimed I must have stolen it.

It took a couple of days and a lawyer, but "somehow" the furniture was "found" and returned.

Plenty of other reasons to do a walk-thru too...

 

Posted by John Dotson, The experience to get you to the other side! (Preferred Properties of Highlands, Inc. - Highlands, NC) 4 months ago

John Dotson my jaw dropped as I read your comment. If there was ever a reason to have a final walk through your example makes it crystal clear. Anything can happen, even furniture "disappearing!"

Posted by Amanda S. Davidson, Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale (Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group ) 4 months ago

Love your video and again, all of your points are spot-on, Amanda! I'm sure you've had those buyers that say, "We were just there last week - we don't really need to do a walk-through!" OH, SURE we do! 

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods (www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) 4 months ago

Great post, Amanda. That final walk-through is critical and I find some clients take it seriously and others I need to prod to do so.

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage ) 4 months ago

Nina Hollander you said it best. I had to convince a client last week that we needed to go and when we found a broken window pane he was glad we did. 

Posted by Amanda S. Davidson, Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale (Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group ) 4 months ago

This is all true; walkthroughs are a very important part of the home purchasing process. Sometimes problems are identified and they will need to be addressed prior to/or at closing.

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com) 4 months ago

Good morning Amanda. The checklist is so important but seldom used. Great post.

Posted by Sheila Anderson, The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133 (Referral Group Incorporated) 4 months ago

Amanda, that's an excellent list of things to check. I try to do my final wal-through a few days prior to closing to make sure all repairs were done to the buyer's satisfaction. A closing last week showed that a builder didn't even attempt one of the things on the home inspection repair list and two were done very poorly. He has sinced corrected that, but without a walk-through, the buyers would never have know. Very important. 

Posted by Mike Cooper, GRI, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) 4 months ago

Mike Cooper, GRI your experience last week is a perfect example of why a walk through is a must. 

Posted by Amanda S. Davidson, Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale (Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group ) 4 months ago

Hi Amanda:

Great video! And all of your suggestions, including the checklist, are spot on. No one likes surpises when they move in after closing and it essential to be sure things are as they should be before you close.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Jeff

Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (Solutions Real Estate ) 4 months ago

Jeff Dowler, CRS hi! You're right, no one likes surprises when they move in after closing. That's not a good kind of surprise. Thank you! You have a wonderful weekend too!

Posted by Amanda S. Davidson, Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale (Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group ) 3 months ago

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