The importance of a final walkthrough at closing can not be underestimated. This is typically done before the closing, sometimes on the day of, but after the Seller or the current tenants have moved out. This is the final step before coming to the closing to sign the final documents. It is the opportunity of the Buyers to do their final check. This is when they make sure that the home or property, they are purchasing is in the same condition it was when they did their inspections at the beginning of the contract. They will make sure nothing has been removed that was included in the sale as well as confirm that when the movers moved out the Seller’s or their occupants, no additional damage was done to the property. If the parties have agreed on Seller doing repairs, this is the time to confirm that the repairs were satisfactorily accomplished. This will be the final opportunity of a Buyer and Seller to come to terms on their issues and negotiate the type of solution that they both will feel comfortable with.
Here is a list of a free checklist that will help in your walkthrough (you can find the list online HERE):
Basement, attic, and every room, closet, and crawl space have been checked.
Requested repairs have been made.
Copies of paid bills and warranties are in hand.
No major, unexpected changes have been made to the property since last viewed.
All items included in the sale price—draperies, lighting fixtures, etc.—are still on site.
Screens and storm windows are in place or stored onsite.
All appliances are operating (dishwasher, washer/dryer, oven, etc.).
Intercom, doorbell, and alarm are operational.
Hot water heater is working.
Heating and air conditioning systems are working.
No plants or shrubs have been removed from the yard.
Garage door opener and other remotes are available.
Instruction books and warranties on appliances and fixtures are available.
All debris and personal items of the sellers have been removed.
The best reason to do a walkthrough prior to closing is represented by a recent picture one of my clients provided of what was found at the time of their walkthrough.
A picture is worth a thousand words. I cannot express the importance of a walkthrough better than this.