Tips for the Final Walkthrough Before Closing on a Home

A final home inspection walkthrough allows you to ensure that everything is in order before you move in after closing day.

The Home Stretch

You’ve received the clear to close from your lender, the closing is scheduled, all that’s left is to retrieve your new keys, right? Well, not so fast. There’s one more visit you need to make in the day before closing -- the final walkthrough. Find out why this final step may be the most important one you make.

What is the purpose of a final walkthrough before closing? Do you do a final walkthrough before closing?

Do you do a final walkthrough before closing? Though it’s not required by law, in most real estate transactions a final walkthrough is part of the standard process prior to closing. Both the buyers and the sellers will be expected to sign off on the home’s condition with a final walkthrough form before the new buyers take possession.

The final walkthrough serves a variety of purposes, including:

  1. Ensuring that repairs identified on the home inspection checklist, and agreed to as a prerequisite for closing, have been satisfactorily completed.
  2. Ensuring that the home has not been damaged during the closing term or during the move-out and is in the same condition it was in when the purchase was initiated, or as spelled out in the purchase contract.
  3. Ensuring that all conveyances specified in the purchase contract -- appliances, furnishings, fixtures, or outdoor features -- remain after move-out.

How long should a final walkthrough take?

Depending on the size of the property, a final walkthrough may take just a few minutes, in the case of a small condo, or several hours, in the case of a large estate property.

What should you look for in a final walkthrough before closing?

Although the final walkthrough is not an opportunity for an additional home inspection, you should make a survey of the home’s systems and finishes in order to ensure that everything is intact and working as it should. Your real estate agent should attend the final walkthrough with you in order to make note of issues that arise and contact the seller’s agent in case of any problems. What're some closing on a house problems? Major problems when closing on a home can be identified when performing a walkthrough.

Here are our tips for your final walkthrough checklist:

  1. Turn on and off every light fixture
  2. Run water and check under each sink for leaks
  3. Turn on the garbage disposal and exhaust fans
  4. Flush each toilet
  5. Make sure the air and heating both run
  6. Open and close doors and windows
  7. Open and close the garage door, using the remote openers, keypads, and any other switches
  8. Make a visual inspection of walls, floors, and ceilings
  9. Check items identified during the home inspection to ensure that appropriate repairs have been made.

In addition, open cupboards, closets, and other storage areas to ensure that the homeowner has not left any belongings behind or debris for you to clean up. This is especially important if there is a shed or outbuilding on the property.

If you identify problems during the final walkthrough, you and your agent will have to head back to the negotiation table. Possible remedies include:

  1. Delayed closing until agreed upon items have been completed
  2. Seller concession to the buyer at closing
  3. Money held in an escrow account from seller proceeds sufficient to cover the cost of the repair.

In a worst-case scenario, a final walkthrough may reveal problems that are too big to resolve and on which the parties cannot reach an agreement. While this outcome is rare, there is a reason that real estate professionals always say that a real estate transaction is not over until it’s over.

You’ll enjoy greater peace of mind and a streamlined closing process when you work with Endpoint. Powered by the latest technical innovations and the experience of our parent company, First American, you’ll experience the joy of an effortless close.

Learn more about Endpoint or continue reading our Step-by-Step Guide for more closing day tips.