Before you close escrow on a house, you’ll want to perform a final walk through. Typically, there are no issues that arise, but because there are no guarantees in life, we always want to double check. Here, we’ll answer a frequent buyer question, what should a buyer look for in the final walk through?
What’s the Purpose of the Final Walk Through?
The purpose of the buyer’s final walk through is to:
- Ascertain that any repairs agreed upon were completed
- Verify that the property is in substantially the same condition (normal wear and tear excepted) as it was on the date the contract was executed
Who Should Attend the Final Walk Through?
It is a best practice for both buyer and Buyer’s Agent to attend the walk through. As a buyer, you’ll be required to sign a Final Walk Through form that verifies you were given an opportunity to perform a final walk through and the property was in the same condition as on the date the contract was executed. For piece of mind, you’ll want to visually inspect the property and not rely on someone else to do it.
How Do I Visually Inspect for Repairs?
You’ll have received copies of receipts for any repairs that were completed. You’ll want to make a visual inspection before you sign off in writing that repairs, if any, were completed as agreed. Some repairs you’ll be able to see with your eyes and others you will have to rely on the receipt showing the repairs were complete. If you have a question, call the person who did the work and ask.
Confirm the Property is in the Same Condition
The second aspect of the property to investigate is if it is in the same condition as it was when they accepted your offer. Has anything been substantially damaged during move out or the repair process? Does it look essentially the same as it did?
What Happens if Repairs Aren’t Complete or Property is Damaged?
The first step after discovering either repairs are incomplete or the property has been damaged is to contact the Seller’s Agent to work out a solution. If the issue is minor, get a statement from the seller stating when the issue will be resolved. Sometimes, some money can be held in escrow to cover the cost pending production of a final invoice. If the issue is a more serious, consider holding off on the close of escrow.
How Will Closing Delays Affect My Loan?
The buyer has the right to delay closing when repairs are incomplete or property has been damaged. A practical question to ask before deferring close of escrow is: how will a delay impact the my loan. Loan commitments are not open ended. They expire on a date certain imposed by the lender. A buyer runs the risk of losing his or her loan when closing is delayed. Contact your lender to ask about the consequences of pushing back closing before you do so.
Final Walk Throughs Shouldn’t Be Skipped
A final walk through is an important step in a smooth close of escrow. It ensures there is no future disagreement about the condition of the property at the time closing. A buyer who reports damage days after closing will face a difficult time convincing a seller to pay up. A final walk through takes just a few minutes and it closes the buying process in a timely, business-like fashion.
Thinking About Buying a House in Austin?
We believe buying homes should be about you, our client, not us. We believe buyers should be counseled to make an informed purchase decision, not sold the very first house they see. If you’re looking for a buyer’s agent who takes a consultative approach to home buying, we might be the agents for you. In our combined 58+ years of experience, there really isn’t much we haven’t seen and can make home buying stress free. Check out our Austin Home Buyers page to learn more about our Austin home buyer representation program and how we’re different than most Realtors. Then, fill out our Buyer Survey, call us at (512) 827-8323 or email us at info@11OaksRealty.com to schedule a no obligation consultation.
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