A Checklist for the Final Home Walkthrough before Buying a House

If you are about to finalize on a new home, don’t sign on that dotted line just yet. Before doing that, do a final walkthrough of the house to ensure that you are getting exactly what you are paying for. Think of it as your last chance to make sure that everything is in place before you make it home sweet home. It is also the best time to share concerns with the seller and have them address them before you pay for the house.

Here is a simple checklist that you can use for your walkthrough:

1. Take Your Real Estate Agent with You

Before going through the house a final time, make sure that you have your real estate agent with you. That way you will have peace of mind knowing that you have a professional keeping an eye out for issues you may miss. They should also follow up with the listing agent to get updates about any repairs that were made after you saw the house for the first time. There are plenty of considerations to make before buying a house with a better built company, and features to think about. For more specifics on what could be available to you with a new house, you can check out more information online.

2. Gather the Necessary Items

Besides bring your real estate agent with you, make sure you also bring a copy of the inspection report, the contract you signed, your phone if it has a camera in it as well as a pen and notepad to record your observations in.

3. Check Household Items

If you purchased any items or appliances that were already in the house when you bought it, you should check if everything is accounted for before closing the deal. This can include anything such as a dining table, chairs, sofas and other items that the seller may not have needed and wants to get rid of. If you bought them, check to make sure that everything is in the home and ask your agent to inform the seller and listing agent about them as well. This will prevent a lot of confusion during moving day.

4. Check the Kitchen and Bathrooms

The kitchen and the bathroom are areas that are susceptible to damage more so than other areas of a house. That’s because they are used the most and get a lot of foot traffic that can lead to minor damage. The plumbing in those areas can also cause water damage if the repairs are not done so check for mold to make sure that the seller has done his/her due diligence or not.

Some of the things you should inspect include the following:

  • Shower heads should provide a steady stream of water and should not drip when they are turned off. 
  • Bath tubs and sink drains should drain quickly without getting blocked up. 
  • Appliances (such as a refrigerator, stove, dishwasher, etc) that you paid for in the house should be in their places, and they should work properly. 
  • The toilets should flush and the flush handle, chain, flapper valve should work properly.

5. Look In All Directions

The seller can damage the house while moving out or moving out his/her furniture but you may find out after the fact or if you don’t do a walkthrough before closing. Once the portraits and clocks come off the walls, they leave behind peeling paint, holes and other damage that you should not have to pay to repair. This includes hidden scratches under the carpet. If there is large scale damage, ask the seller to take care of it before you move in.

6. Open the Doors and Windows

Open all of the doors and windows during the walkthrough to check the locks and latches are fully functional or not. They should open smoothly and should not be painted shut since that could cause a fire hazard. Plus, check if the blinds and curtains are the ones who saw the first time around and don’t forget to check the garage door.

7. Check Fixtures

Make sure that the fixtures and personal property that you bought with the house are still present. The seller should also be made to understand the difference between the two. A fixture is anything that is a permanent part of the house or attached to it such as ceiling fans, light fixtures, landscaping, mail boxes etc. Personal property, on the other hand is anything that the seller can take with them when they move out such as appliances.

If you buy personal property along with the house make sure that everything is accounted for before moving in. Plus, also make sure that they are undamaged and check for unwanted items that should go with the seller such as construction material or old furniture.

8. Check for Pests

Pests such as insects and rodents can wreak havoc on your home and gut it from the inside out if they are not taken care of in time. When you purchase a new home, it should not come with these unwelcome guests. So when you are doing the walkthrough, keep a keen eye out for them.

To look for rats and mice, check out small dark spaces such as the cabinets, the pantry and storage rooms for shredded paper or droppings. Also keep an eye out for dead bugs or bug parts and visible termite tunnels in the wood.

What to Do If the Home Is Occupied

Don’t worry if the seller is still in the house while you are doing the final walkthrough. Some don’t or can’t move out till the transaction comes to a close so they should have no issue with this. It’s actually a good thing if the seller is on premise during a walkthrough because they are aware of the quirks that come with the property and can answer any final questions you may have about it.

This is also a good time to ask the seller to give you a forwarding address so that you can send their mail to them till they update their mail carrier. You never know when you might need to get in touch with them in the future so getting that address will benefit you in the long run.