You're so close to having the keys to your new home – the excitement is mounting. However, one of the most important tasks before moving in is the final walk-through.

First, remember the walk-through is not an inspection. The home inspection was the buyer's time to uncover issues that needed to be addressed, negotiated and agreed upon before signing the purchase contract. The walk-through is the time to confirm these issues have been addressed and that there aren’t any new surprises (like a rotted wood floor that was hiding under the king-size bed that is no longer there!) It’s a good idea for buyers to bring a checklist prior to the walk-through so nothing is overlooked.

The best time for a walk-through is the day before the closing. If there are problems, this give the buyer's agent time to go back to the sellers agent and negotiate on the buyer's behalf. This 24-hour period leaves both parties the time needed to address any new issues and/or repairs that may have been overlooked. Worse case scenario? If you have to, it leaves time to push back the closing date. 

Bottom line: The walk-through is the last chance to make sure the home is delivered exactly as contracted. Here’s a quick Final Walk-Through Checklist for both buyers and sellers.

SELLER'S WALK-THROUGH CHECKLIST

Double check the contract and make sure you're delivering the house as mutually agreed for the walk-through. You can also set aside the following items and perform these tasks as well.  

  • First and foremost, leave a clean home
  • Leave garage door openers on the kitchen counter or bring to closing
  • Leave manuals for appliances and mechanicals along with warranty details 
  • Leave window screens
  • Replace light bulbs throughout the house
  • Leave paint cans or a list of paint colors used in the house for touch-ups
  • A thoughtful gesture is to leave a list of phone numbers of vendors and various services that are required for the house - trash removal services, snowplow contact, electrician, plumber, etc. 
  • Leave your contact information should the buyers have questions about the house or if a package was delivered that is for you

At the closing, share the following details, preferably in one document:

  • Leave information about the alarm: the alarm company, alarm code and manual
  • Hand over the garage door openers
  • Give the new owners the keys to the house, shed, and any other keys related to the property

BUYER'S WALK-THROUGH CHECKLIST

  • Inspect all requested repairs were done
  • Open and close all doors
  • Look at floors, ceilings, and walls for signs of new damage
  • Make sure items that are supposed to remain are in place: blinds, curtains, curtain rods, attached light fixtures, etc. 
  • Turn all appliances on and off
  • Look under sinks and near tubs for signs of leaks
  • Flush the toilets and run showers
  • Make sure tubs and sinks drain properly
  • Check heating and cooling equipment
  • Run garbage disposal and exhaust fans
  • Open and close doors and windows
  • Turn every light fixture on and off
  • Check the deck, porch and fencing
  • Test the alarm system
  • Make sure landscaping and plants are in the same, especially attics, basements and sheds.

Once the walk-through is completed, and both parties are happy with the condition of the house, the closing is a breeze. The best part is about to come. It's always our favorite moment too -  seeing the smile come to your face when given the keys to your new home. Congratulations! 

Lisa Halter
Principal Broker/Owner
Halter Associates Realty
lisa@halterassociatesrealty.com