Closing on a home, whether it is your first or fifth, is a very exciting milestone in your life. So many pieces of the home buying puzzle had to line up for this day to actually become a reality, and it may have seemed overwhelming at times. While your mind may be consumed with the thought that you only have to sign the papers and the keys to your new home will be in your hand, there is one last thing you need to do.
Before you sign any binding documents, doing a final walk-through of the home you are about to buy can sometimes be a lifesaver. By taking the time to do one last, thorough walk-through, you can catch any problems that would cost you money when the mortgage payments start. Here is a final walk-through checklist to help you make sure nothing is missed before closing the deal!
Walk-through Items Needed
- Final Contract – bring this with you so that you can confirm that all the terms that were agreed upon match what is actually in and with the house. Any extras that were agreed upon should be verified by you, in person, to eliminate any potential problems.
- Notepad – this is an obvious one but make sure to bring something to make notes on (smartphones are great for this as well).
- Camera/Smartphone with charger – you’ll use the camera to document any unsatisfactory issues or problems that you find, and the charger for your phone is to check and see if all the outlets work throughout the house (faulty wiring can be a huge issue).
- Inspection Summary – this will give you a detailed report of all that needed fixing and all that was fixed. This is perhaps the most important piece to bring with you on your final walk-through. Unrepaired issues can mean huge bills later on, which no one wants as a new homeowner.
- Real Estate Agent – bringing your real estate agent with you can help clear up any confusion and they can guide you through the process as well. This is especially important for any first-time homebuyer that may not know exactly what to look for.
Final Walk-through Checklist
- Repairs – check for the listed repairs that were said to have been made as part of the negotiations. Be sure to ask for any warranties or receipts from the work in case anything goes wrong because you will want to be able to contact the right person or company that made the repairs.
- General Sale Items – this is to ensure that all items included in the sale are accounted for and that any unwanted/unincluded items have been removed. You don’t want to have to take care of any junk or trash that the owner decided to leave behind for whatever reason.
- Doors and Windows – coming home to your brand new home only to realize that all your belongings have been stolen sounds terrifying, doesn’t it? Well, this can be prevented (at least from an ease of entry standpoint) by checking to see if all of the windows and doors close and lock properly.
- Bathroom and Kitchen Check – check these rooms thoroughly for signs of water damage or mold because mold can pop up in as little as a couple days (the closing process can be a month long). Check all the faucets and fixtures to ensure that they work properly. Oh, and don’t forget to check the laundry room, too.
- Heat, A/C and other systems – because these systems can be fickle or require frequent repairs, you want to double-check that they all work prior to signing the paperwork, including security system, irrigation, garage door, doorbell, heating, and cooling.
- Outside walk – check for signs of pests, landscaping issues and anything of concern with the exterior of the home.
This is a pretty thorough overview of the major things to check for when you do your final walk-through, before signing your name on the dotted line. If you’re new to the process, one of the most valuable assets you can have is an experienced real estate agent to help guide you through the home buying process.
With nearly 20 years of experience in the Phoenix-metro market, my team and I have helped hundreds of homeowners, just like you, to buy and sell with ease. We understand the unique market and pride ourselves on customer experience. Give us a call today and let us help you through the process because Jeff Barchi is the most trusted name in Phoenix real estate!