The Final Walk Through

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The day of closing has arrived and you’re excited to get to the closing table.  First, it’s time for you to walk through your new home to verify that the Sellers have maintained the property according to their contractual obligations, and that any personal property stipulated to remain, does, in fact, remain in the property.  

The seller should have left the utilities on — water, electricity, gas — since the seller still owns the property.  I like to bring a copy of the inspection report and a portable hair dryer with me. Why? Read on….

Check all items against the inspection report.  You can do this in any order, but be sure to cover everything.  Once you close, issues that occur are your responsibility. I like to have a checklist with me and for your convenience, I’ve included one in the blog.  

Starting with the exterior of the property, walk around the perimeter and look at the walls, eaves, fascias, gutters, etc.  Check the windows and screens for new cracks or tears. Check the walkway and the driveway for unexpected cracks, potholes, ant hills, etc..  Open the garage door manually and using the “clickers” and the wall-mounted device. Look at the light in the garage at the motor to check that it is working.  On your checklist, record your findings if any, or write “OK” in the “Condition” column.

Now you’re ready to go inside.  Ring the Doorbell. Inspect the front door and the lock(s).  Also look at the weather-stripping around the door and the doorway; check the door jamb.  

Once you’re inside and as you move from room to room, be very thorough.  Look at the flooring for new cracks or stains, and check the light switches.  And check all the outlets–both plugs, top and bottom — by plugging in the hair dryer you’ve brought with you.  And remember to turn it on! If it does or doesn’t work, record it on your checklist. Check the windows and the light fixtures in all rooms too.

In the Kitchen, turn on the faucets — both hot and cold — and check the water pressure and that the water gets hot. Check all the appliances to ensure they are still operational.  See if there’s ice in the freezer. Put the microwave on for 5 seconds. Check that the disposal is working and remember to turn on the water while you do this. Turn on the cooktop and the oven — make sure there’s heat (if electric) and remember to turn them off!

In the Bathrooms, check the outlets, flush the toilets and wait for the tanks to fill and stop.  Turn the water on in the tubs and showers and notice the water pressure here too.

Turn the washer and dryer on to ensure that they are both in working order.  Lower the temperature on the Air Conditioning system and listen for it to kick in.  Turn the heat on. If you’re buying a home with a swimming pool, hot tub, and/or sauna, check that these are in working order.  

Record your findings on the checklist.  Sign the Walk-through report. Ask the Seller or Seller’s Representative at the walk-through (usually the Seller’s Realtor) to review and sign it.  Bring it to the closing table. If there are any items that need to be addressed, bring it up when all parties and the Closing Agent/Attorney are at the table.  Any issues that have occurred may require a simple fix. It doesn’t have to be a contentious discussion. Everyone there wants the same outcome, so work together in an amicable manner for the best resolution for all concerned parties.  

For your convenience, download and print this Walk Through Checklist to take with you to your walk-through.


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