At some point (shortly before the date of final closing) it will be absolutely necessary for you to make a final inspection of the house that you are intending to buy. This is called a final walk-through. A home inspection should have already been completed by this time.
Most likely you will be accompanied by your agent who, with his experience, will help you examine the house and make sure you are aware of not only the positives, but also any possible negatives with the house. This final walk-through with your agent is to verify everything in which you have contracted to buy are still there, and what you have not contracted to buy have been removed.
In many instances, the buyer and seller never meet in person, but if its possible, try to perform the walk-through in the seller’s presence. They know the home better than anyone and can help provide some more knowledgeable information about the house and its history.
If the home is unoccupied at the time of selling, it’s even more important to do this final walkthrough. There could have been a leaking faucet causing water damage, broken windows from possible intrusion, or many other possibilities. Be sure to take notice of attics, crawl spaces or basements as these may have unwanted items left behind by the previous occupant.
Here are a few points to review:
Check the house from bottom to top: basement to attic.
Pay articular attention to expensive items and items that are of importance to you.
Watch for areas where furniture or rugs may have been when you originally looked at the house. Many times defects in carpeting or floors that were covered are now visible.
If an item is missing, or if there is trash or discarded items left behind, deal with it now. Assume that if it is gone, the sellers intend for it to be gone, or if it is still there, they do not intend to remove it.
Bring your contract to make sure there are no discrepancies.
Leave your emotions outside the door. You will have plenty of time to swoon over your new home – now is the time to make sure the house is as you expected it to be.
Check all major appliances.
Turn heat and/or air conditioning on and off.
Turn on water faucets; check for leaks under sinks.
Test the garage door openers.
Flush all toilets.
Open and close all windows and doors.
Do a visual spot-check of ceilings, walls and floors.
Turn on the garbage disposal and exhaust fans.
Check the status of any agreed-upon repairs.
The final walkthrough is THE time to deal with any potential issues you have with the house, the seller or your contract. If you see an item that needs to be addressed, let your Agent know so that they can get it handled before closing.