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The Final Walkthrough Isn’t Your Personal Parade

Posted by Johnine Larsen on May 15, 2017
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You just signed the paperwork! At long last, yes! After all the open houses, late-night searches through listings, stressing over multiple offers and a housing shortage—at long last, it’s over.


Except for the Final Walkthrough. It might feel like a formality, maybe even like your own mini-parade—but this final walkthrough matters. You’re making sure nothing has changed since the time you agreed to buy the home. And, yes—sometimes things have changed.

Fortunately, if you’re buying a house with me, I can take care of all of this so the final walkthrough can be a mini-parade for you and your new home. But if you’re doing it on your own, or if you want to know what I’m looking for when I do a final walkthrough, here’s what to pay attention to:


  • Review the MLS listing, the appraisal, the purchase contract, and the inspection report. Know exactly what the appraiser and inspector saw, so if anything looks different, we can spot it.


  • Check that all repairs on the inspection summary have been completed with warranties and receipts. This way, if something breaks down the road, you can contact the company that worked on it earlier.


  • Inspect all the “real property” (any furniture included in the sale). This includes built-ins, light fixtures, carpets, window coverings, etc. Sometimes, shady sellers will swap out light fixtures for cheaper models and hope the buyer doesn’t notice.


  • Notice any moving damage. Sellers often scratch, gouge, chip, or otherwise damage the house as they’re moving out. We want the home to be in the same, photo-worthy state as its listing photos.


  • Test every light, faucet, and plumbing fixture. Run every appliance for a few minutes.


  • Check all window latches and door locks. While you’re at it, check if any window screens are missing, or if any windows are broken or stick when opening.


  • Inspect the bathrooms for mold, water damage, and standing water. Mold only needs to few days to emerge, so don’t rely on the inspector’s report.


  • Make sure the circuit breaker works, and test all the outlets. You can bring a phone charger with you to test all the plugs (top and bottom of each outlet).


  • Count the exterior plants. A few sellers have dug plants out of yard before the buyer moves in, reducing once-impressive curb appeal to unsightly holes in the ground.