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Final Walk-Through

Today’s the day! You found the perfect house, made an offer, negotiated the price, had an inspection and ensured your mortgage. Now, the only thing standing in the way of you and “home sweet home” is your final walk-through.

A walk-through is normally scheduled the day of, or day before the settlement, as the seller should be completely moved out. The object of the walk-through is to ensure that the house stands in the same condition as when you agreed to buy it.

This is not the time to nitpick about nail holes or carpet imperfections. Unless you’ve negotiated allowances for such issues, you’ll have to address them later after you’ve signed your name on the contract.

What could impact the transaction is if property and fixtures that the seller agreed to leave behind are missing, such as a washing machine, pool table or garage cabinets; or when the seller leaves things he or she was supposed to remove, such as paint cans, furniture and other belongings.

With your agent at your side, be sure that obligatory repairs flagged during the home inspection are completed to code and satisfaction. If the seller agreed to replace an aging water heater but didn’t do it, this must be accounted for during settlement.

You may be eager to leave the house and sign that contract, but don’t rush through the inspection. Run the appliances through a full cycle to make sure they work. Turn on all faucets and showers as well.

Some contracts will specify that the buyer complete a walk-through inspection a week or two prior to settlement, and then schedule a quick meeting prior to settlement to check off any items previously noted. Again, any items or tasks that aren’t complete must be justified at the time of settlement.

Though issues may arise, the majority of walk-throughs go without a hitch as both parties are eager to complete the deal and willing to negotiate any final hurdles.

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