You’re ready to celebrate — your offer was accepted, you got your dream home under contract, your financing has been approved, appraisal and inspections performed, and funding and closing are only a handful of days away. What important step have you yet to take? It’s the final walk-through.
It may seem minor, but this real estate tradition is critical before you take possession. First and foremost, allow enough time before the close of escrow to do your walk-through — this is the last opportunity for you and your Realtor to verify all is prepared and repaired according to your contract.
Make a checklist and begin with the plumbing, starting the dishwasher and other appliances upon your arrival. Check under the sinks for any signs of leaks, turn on the shower and kitchen and bath faucets, and flush all the toilets so you know all is in working order.
Move on to the electrical systems, by turning on all the light switches, starting up the clothes dryer, and making sure the oven and stovetop heating elements are working. You can test the garage door while you’re at it.
Be sure the sellers have left you any manuals and warranties for the appliances. Don’t forget to open and close all the windows and any sliding glass doors. Your inspector may have checked all of these items in your report, but that was much earlier in the transaction. This is your last chance to avoid any oversights or surprises.
If the seller agreed to perform any repairs or other work before the close of escrow, this is your chance to verify that these repairs have been done. The seller may also provide you with paid invoices for work performed. You also may hire your home inspector to come back with you to verify repairs when you do your walk-through.
As a buyer, you are giving the final exam. Don’t miss your opportunity — and responsibility!
— Paul Suding, a real estate agent with Cool Santa Barbara Homes and Village Properties, is president of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 805.455.8055.