Once you’ve found your dream home, the financing is approved, and all inspections are completed, many buyers are tempted to sit back, relax, and wait for closing day. There is one more very important step in the home buying process, a final walk-through.
This is the last chance to make sure everything is in working condition and that things are as they were presented in the deal. If not, you still have time to have them repaired or you could even walk away. Taking time now to check on the home could help save you time and money on costly repairs in the future.
Major Systems – Turn on the heat and the air conditioning as soon as you get there. This will give it time to run so you should notice a temperature change. Make sure you are hearing more than just the fan running.
Plumbing – Take the time to turn on every faucet and shower. Do they drip? Is there good water pressure? Take a look in the basement and below sinks for any possible leaks. Also flush all toilets to insure they work properly and are not leaking.
Repairs – Some repairs or upgrades may be required per the terms of your contract. Check that the seller has taken care of these items and they have been done properly. Don’t be afraid to mention something that has not been completed.
Appliances – Turn on the dishwasher, the oven (light and fan too), washing machine, clothes dryer, and any other major appliance that is part of the home, to make sure they all work.
Landscaping – Take a stroll around the exterior of the home and the entire yard. Believe it or not, some sellers have actually taken outside plants/shrubs with them. Make sure nothing is missing. If there is an irrigation system, check that it works.
Remotes/Keypads – If the home is equipped with a security system, does the keypad work? If there are ceiling fans with remote controls, make sure the seller did not accidentally pack them.
Lights – Check that all lights and switch plates are in place. A seller may forget to mention that they intend on taking a certain light fixture, etc. Be sure that everything you expecting is in its proper place.
Walls – Take a look at walls and ceilings for any holes or damage that may have occurred while the seller was moving out.
Cleanliness – Sellers are required to leave the home clean and free of their possessions. Make sure the garage, yard, and any outbuildings are empty and clean. You don’t want to find yourself responsible for the disposal of something large or even hazardous.
You may have had a professional inspection performed, but you should be just as diligent on your final walk-through. Use this opportunity for more than planning furniture placement, check these important items first and then enjoy planning your move. FYI, another good idea to consider is the purchase of a home warranty. This will give you a little extra peace of mind and will take care of any costly repairs for major system issues, appliance break-downs, etc. that might occur after you move in.