What should I look for?
Closing on a real estate transaction is an exciting milestone, but conducting a thorough walkthrough is crucial before finalizing the deal. This walkthrough is your last chance to identify any issues and ensure that the property is in the condition you expect. View the list below for a few essential items to look for during your walkthrough.
Check for Repairs and Maintenance:
- Inspect all major systems (plumbing, electrical, HVAC) to ensure they function correctly.
- Look for any signs of leaks, water damage, or pest infestations.
- Test appliances to confirm they are in working order.
Keep an eye out for unwanted personal items and clutter:
- Open cabinets, closets, sheds, and crawl spaces for items left by the seller.
- Ensure debris from construction or moving has been removed.
- Inspect that the property is cleaned according to the terms of the contract.
Examine the Structure and Foundation:
- Inspect walls, ceilings, and floors for cracks, water stains, or other signs of damage.
- Check doors and windows for proper operation and seal.
- Evaluate the foundation for any noticeable issues, such as cracks or settling.
Verify the Inclusion of Fixtures and Appliances:
- Confirm that all fixtures (lighting, ceiling fans) mentioned in the contract are present.
- Ensure that any appliances included in the sale are in place and functioning.
Review Interior Finishes:
- Check for cosmetic issues like paint chips, scratches, or dents. – these often show up AFTER the sellers have removed their personal belongings.
- Verify that any agreed-upon repairs or improvements have been completed.
Assess Exterior Features:
- Inspect the condition of the roof, siding, and gutters.
- Check the functionality of doors, windows, and outdoor structures (deck, patio).
Utilities and Systems:
- Confirm that all utilities are working, including water, gas, and electricity.
- Test security systems, smoke detectors, and other safety features.
Plan for the Future:
- Consider any potential future maintenance or improvements.
- Familiarize yourself with the location of utility shut-offs and important features.
A real estate closing walkthrough is a crucial step in the home-buying process. You can’t always take the seller’s word that everything has been repaired or in good working order. By paying close attention to the items mentioned above, you can identify potential issues and ensure that the property is in the same condition you expected it to be. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and seek clarification on anything that concerns you. With a thorough walkthrough, you’ll be well-prepared to finalize the deal and embark on your homeownership journey with confidence.