What to Look for in a Walk Through

Posted by Tamara Berryman on Thursday, January 22nd, 2015 at 8:43am.

Sarasota has some wonderful options for Sunshine State living, from condo and townhome communities, to single family home neighborhoods, there's something for everyone. There's quite a lot that goes into purchasing a home and you as a buyer would obviously prefer everything to go smoothly. You'll have to do a bit of house hunting, looking at resales and even new constructionto find the right fit.

You'll also have to put aside some cash for closing costs, if you're not rolling those into your mortgage. Speaking of home loans, now is a great time to buy a property because interest rates remain low, while home prices are still affordable. What's more, if you purchase now or at least before spring and summer, you won't spend as much on your move or relocation because this is the time when moving companies are least busy.

When you've finally found the right home, put in a purchase offer, and had it accepted by the seller, you'll then make an earnest money deposit and begin to plan your move. You'll also hire a home inspector and pest inspector, while the lender will send out an appraiser to ensure the home's value is in-line with the agreed purchase price. All of this is to protect you from having to deal with problems after you've taken legal possession.

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When to Schedule the Final Walk Through

One more protection is what's known as a "walk through." Actually, there might be more than one, particularly if the contract includes the seller having to make repairs. Should that be the case, you ought to schedule more than one walk through. Depending on the nature of the repairs, you ought to schedule a first walk through about a week prior to closing to ensure said repairs have been done and done properly.

"One of the most exciting days during the home buying process is when you have your walk-through, usually scheduled on the day before your settlement. Just like it sounds, a 'walk-through' takes place when you and your buyers’ agent explore your home-to-be and check to make sure it’s in the condition specified in your contract." --Realtor.com

One thing might surprise you, and that's the overall condition of the home. If the sellers have already vacated the property, you might find it a bit dirty. This is because real estate sales contracts only require the home be in "broom swept condition" or "broom clean." That, of course, does not necessarily mean spotless. So, you might see a bit of dirt and dust. What you shouldn't see is poor repair work or that the seller took the appliances out of the home, even though the contract states the appliances were to be part of the transaction.

If you do or don't have repairs as part of the deal, the final walk through or only walk through ought to be scheduled anywhere from 24 hours to 48 hours prior to closing. Once settlement is complete, it's your responsibility because it's legally your home. Any problems might cause a delay in closing.

Things to Look for in a Walk Through

During your final walk through, you ought to be thorough, inspecting each room, one-by-one. While you do want to cover as much space as you can, you should not be overly particular. However, there are some things to look for in a walk through:

  • Compare the documents to the home. Bring along the sales contract, the home and pest inspection reports, as well as the seller's disclosure form. Your real estate agent will accompany you to assist you in checking that everything is in order and compliant with the documents. If there is a problem, your buyer's agent will be quite helpful.
  • Check items on the repair list first. If the seller agreed to make certain repairs, these are the very first things to check. Should the repairs not have been made or were done poorly, your real estate professional will phone the seller's agent to address the problem.
  • Test the appliances, electric, and plumbing. Although the home inspector probably did all of this, something might have broken in the interim or is beginning to fail. Turn on and off all major appliances, the lights, flush the toilets, and turn on and off the faucets. Look for signs of water damage, mold, and mildew as well.
  • Open and close the doors and windows. Here again, the home inspector probably did this during his or her inspection, but moving furniture out of a home can cause damage. In addition to these, check the exterior of the home.
Check for items left behind but not in the sales contract. In some instances, sellers leave things behind, either because of their size or they no longer want them. So, if you see a nice armoire, it's now yours to keep. Should you not want it, then the seller has the responsibility to move it out.

Tamara Berryman
Google

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