Selling your home is exciting — and sometimes stressful. One thing that is often overlooked is the importance of the buyers’ final walkthrough. After all, it seems like a minor detail.
Don't take it carelessly. It can lead to problems, re-negotiations, and delays. In extreme cases, it can be a deal breaker.
These 6 steps will help you over that last hurdle: the final walkthrough.
1. Complete all expected repairs.
Complete all the repairs you agreed on in your purchase agreement. Save a copy of the receipts for the buyers.
2. List all included items.
List all included appliances, fixtures and personal property. Removing items that you and the buyer agreed on could cause a dispute. If this is found during the final walkthrough, it can cause delays in your closing.
3. Appliances and fixtures are functional.
Make sure all remaining appliances and fixtures are functional. You’ll be busy packing and tending to details of your move, but be sure to make a note if one of the appliances is failing or needs repair. The buyer will test everything, including running the dishwasher and washer. They will also check the electrical, plumbing, heating and air conditioning systems.
The week before the walkthrough and your closing, go through the house as if you were the home buyer. Check everything to see that it works. Turn on all the lights and fans. Check all toilets, showers, and tubs for water pressure and possible leaks. Make sure all appliances are working, including the gas fireplace which might be overlooked if it’s a summer sale. One last check can save you stressful problems at the closing. You will feel much more confident when you know that everything is operational.
4. Keep the curb appeal in good shape.
Keep lawn, landscaping, and exterior in good shape all the flurry of activity, some people forget the exterior. Grounds maintenance is especially important. The buyers are expecting the lawn to look as good as they remember. Be sure to mow, weed, trim, and water. If you have an irrigation system, check to make sure the sprinklers are working properly.
Another reminder: be sure the shrubs and plants the buyers saw when agreeing to buy the house are still there. It can be tempting to remove some perennials or your favorite shrubs before leaving, but buyers will be upset if the plants they believed would be theirs are now gone. If you have planted something sentimental that you want to take with you, list it in the Purchase Agreement so everyone is aware.
5. Make repairs and clean the house.
Make repairs and clean the house. You might have agreed to make certain repairs and you’ve taken care of that. However, there are likely to be repairs that weren’t listed but are definitely expected. When you remove your TV from the wall, there might be a gaping hole from the bracket that needs to be filled and painted. The same can be said for all the pictures and artwork throughout the house. Even before you begin full-fledged packing, you can remove some of these items and patch the holes. A fresh coat of paint would also be welcomed.
As you start to pack up, you’ll notice areas that could use some patching, painting or touch up. Also, be prepared for some minor touch up work after the movers have taken your belongings.
6. Prepare to move out.
Prepare to empty the house and move out. This seems pretty basic. Be sure to make a thorough list of what needs to be done so that everything moves out on schedule. Your closing could be delayed if the buyers find quite a bit of furniture still in the house. When the buyers arrive for the walkthrough, the house should be mostly empty, except for items that were part of the agreement.
If you are thinking of selling your home or already into the process, these 6 steps should be on your radar to make sure the walkthrough is uneventful and your home is closed on time.
The final walkthrough is the last chance for buyers to make sure the property is in good shape and everything is working as expected. They will take a serious look because it’s their last inspection before parting with their money. The walkthrough is a big deal for a buyer who is making one of the most notable purchases of their lifetime.
For a smooth transaction, prepare for the final walkthrough. Make the necessary repairs, leave behind all agreed-upon appliances, fixtures, and personal items, make your list and check it twice to see that all systems and appliances are working properly. Maintain the lawn and exterior so the property looks welcoming, and clear the house and garage so that all spaces are empty, clean and in good repair. The new owners will be grateful.
If you have any other questions feel free to reach out.