Final Walk Through – Ensure You Get What You Paid For
You thought your house buying stress was over and you want nothing more than to enjoy your new home. But wait! Before your purchase is complete you have to do a “Final Walk Through“. Try and schedule this as close to closing as possible, 24 hours prior to closing.
As a buyer you now have this last opportunity to ensure the major systems of the house are in working order and the house is in the same condition as when you signed your “Offer to Purchase”. Here is a general list of items that most Realtor’s recommend you check for:
- Check the exterior of the home, especially if there have been strong wind or rain storms since your last visit.
- Turn all light fixtures on and off.
- Make sure the seller hasn’t removed any fixtures, such as chandeliers, that sellers agreed to leave behind.
- Check all major appliances.
- Turn heat and/or air conditioning on and off.
- Turn on water faucets; check for leaks under sinks.
- Test the garage door openers.
- Flush all toilets.
- Open and close all windows and doors.
- Do a visual spot-check of ceilings, walls and floors.
- Turn on the garbage disposal and exhaust fans.
- Check the status of any agreed-upon repairs.
- Check screens and storm windows. If they’ve been stored, make sure you know where they are and that they’re in good shape.
- Look in storage areas to make sure no trash or unwanted items remain. Old paint cans or hazardous materials are often left behind by the seller.
- Do a quick check of the grounds. Some sellers have dug up and taken plants (even small trees or bushes) with them.
If kitchen and laundry appliances were included in the purchase, operate them all to ensure they are functioning. Run all taps, showers and toilets to ensure there is no damage or blockages.
Check all walls and floors for evidence of recent damage from moving etc. Are all rooms, basement, storage areas and ancillary buildings empty, with no unwanted garbage or furniture left behind. A damaged hardwood floor can be an expensive repair.
During the walk-through, you should find the manuals for appliances, furnace and air-conditioner. If the home you’re buying has automatic garage door openers, they should be left out for you to test. Lastly, make sure you receive all the keys: a complete set to every door lock in the house, basement, shed and garage. And don’t forget to get the alarm codes. If you bought a condo, make sure that you’ve received the mailbox, storage locker, and unit keys.
Some issues that have been reported by buyers that could have been prevented by a Final Walk Through:
Tenants moved out and damaged walls and floors when leaving;
Movers scratched floor finish which new owner had to pay for;
Appliances had been exchanged for older models;
Grass and landscaping had been neglected, new owner had to patch areas with sod;
Large amounts of garbage and debris were not removed from property;
Home owner had flood from faulty sump pump which created moisture and mould damage, not disclosed;
These are extreme examples and none of them may apply to your new home purchase. Prevention is always the best cure, so do your home work and verify the condition of your new home by completing a Final Walk Through.
As always when buying a property remember, CAVEAT EMPTOR – BUYER BEWARE
Once your money changes hands the only person who can help you is your lawyer….at about $300.00 plus per hour. An educated consumer is a “smart consumer”, so do your homework 🙂
If your new home has a wood burning appliance your Insurance Company will most likely require a Certified WETT Inspection prior to insuring property. The Barrie WETT Inspection Service will provide a WETT Inspection for $50.00 when included as part of home inspection package.