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What to Look for during a Final Walk-Through

You know the story: The sluggish tortoise, weary of the swift hare’s taunts, challenges him to a race. Certain he’ll win, the hare stops off for a roadside siesta. We all know what happens next.

It’s not uncommon for buyers to want to rush closing – they’re steps away from owning a new home! – but as Aesop illustrates, there’s no such thing as a sure thing. Even if the finish line’s in sight, a pesky tortoise can derail the sale during the final walk-through.

Rather than speeding through the process (or dozing off), do your best to evaluate the home as thoroughly as possible. Examine both the exterior and interior for any issues that may have developed after the inspection – particularly if the seller has already vacated the home. This includes:

  • Assessing the landscape and grounds
  • Confirming all door and window locks can be opened and secured properly
  • Opening and closing doors and windows
  • Testing the HVAC system and all appliances
  • Turning on and off all indoor and outdoor lights
  • Checking temperature and water pressure for all faucets, noting any drips or leaks and flushing toilets
  • Confirming any required repair work

Aside from a discerning eye, it’s a good idea to bring the contract, inspection report and any seller disclosures with you. And don’t leave without obtaining:

  • Keys to every door
  • Alarm codes (if applicable)
  • Remote garage openers
  • System and appliance manuals
  • Receipts for any promised repairs

Feel free to have your inspector tag along for the final walk-through – a second visit generally costs less than the first.