Take advantage of final walk-through
I am buying a home and my lawyer has suggested that I do a final walk-through a few days before closing. Why has she suggested this and what am I looking for?
Interestingly enough, we have always offered this service to our buyers. However, more and more real estate agents are also recommending that the buyers do a final walk-through of their new home before closing, and there are several reasons for this:
1. To ensure the property’s condition hasn’t changed since you viewed it and made an offer on it.
2. To check that any items have been left, or repairs made, in accordance with your sale and purchase agreement. Remember, a final walk-through is not a home inspection. You’ve already done that by now (or should have), if it was a condition of sale.
Below are a few things you should keep an eye out for during the final walk-through. Take along a checklist:
No people, no pets and absolutely no personal possessions. Check, in particular, any sheds/basements or garages, these are sometimes the areas that get forgotten. Look in storage areas to make sure no trash or unwanted items remain.
Remember that as a courtesy, sellers will sometimes leave behind matching paint and hard-to-find matching tiles or floor coverings. If the home is vacant, it is even more important to do a final walk-through. Do a visual spot check of ceilings, walls and floors.
The house should be in the same condition that it was in when you signed. It is not necessary (as it would be with a tenancy) to deliver up in sparkling condition — indeed many houses that need renovation are far from that — however, the house should be as clean as when viewed and any damage occasioned by vacating should be made good.
Be sure the seller has not removed any fixtures, such as chandeliers, that they agreed to leave behind. Check all major appliances are there and have been left in the condition agreed upon. For the most part, appliances, air conditioners, water heaters, etc, are included as is, however, sometimes different conditions are agreed upon.
What does your sale and purchase agreement say?
Check the exterior of the home, especially if there has been strong wind or rain storms since your last visit.
Check screens and storm windows. If they have been stored, make sure you know where they are and that they are in good shape. Do a quick check of the grounds. If the grass was mown and neat and tidy when you viewed the property, it should be in the same condition at closing.
Taking your time for one last inspection is a good investment. After all, you don’t want to spend the first weeks in your new home cleaning up or making unexpected repairs.
• Heather Chilvers is among Coldwell Banker Bermuda Realty’s leading sales representatives. She has been working in real estate for 28 years. If you have a question for Heather, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 332-1793. All questions will be treated in confidence. Read this article on Facebook: Ask Heather Real Estate
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