After giving it much thought, you have finally made the decision to buy a new house. You start gathering your finances and going house-hunting, and after several months of searching for the perfect home, you have finally found it. You immediately make your offer and begin packing your boxes to move into your dream house.
However, before you start sending out your housewarming invitations, there is one final step you need to complete before closing the deal and that is doing a final walk-through.
In general, the final walk-through, also known as pre-possession inspection, is the point in the homebuying process when you have one last look at the property before you make your official purchase. It is a pivotal moment because it means that once you sign the paperwork, there is no going back.
To ensure things go smoothly, read our guide about the basics of a final walk-through and why it is important.
The basics of a final walk-through
As it was already mentioned, the final walk-through is the ideal opportunity for buyers to perform one last inspection of the house to ensure everything is in good condition.
So, for example, let’s assume you are planning to buy a house in Canada. Before you close the deal on the property, there are several important questions you need to ask first. For example, what can buyers demand at final walk through Canada-wise, when does it take place, and who can attend this pre-possession inspection?
Usually, when you are buying a property in Canada, the final walk-through will take place as close to closing day as possible. On this inspection, it will be you, the seller, possibly one or both of your realtors, and any family members, friends, or contractors. The extent of the entire walk-through will depend mostly on you, the buyer, and you can take up to an hour or more to perform a detailed inspection.
When it comes to determining what to look for, it is advised that you rely on the guidance and assistance of a reputable real estate agent to help go through this part of the homebuying process with ease.
What to check on your final walk-through
Even if you have your real estate agent by your side to guide you through your final walk-through, it won’t hurt to come prepared in advance with a list of important things you should check during the inspection. You can divide this checklist into three categories, outlining things you need to bring as well as what to inspect both inside and outside the home.
For example, when checking the inside of the house, keep an eye out on:
Any apparent damages that need immediate repairs;
Mold and mildew in the attic and basement;
Electrical outlets and water pipes;
If all appliances are working properly;
Foundation and structural issues in walls, ceilings, and floors.
When examining the outdoors of the property, make sure you check for damages to the home’s exterior and landscaping as well as inspect the house’s exterior lights, garage doors, driveway, and other important components.
As you are preparing for your final walk-through, don’t forget to bring your purchase agreement with you to give you a better idea of the property and the inspection report to ensure that the seller has completed all repairs that were noted during the home inspection.
What happens if you find issues during the final walk-through?
If you find an issue during your final walk-through, there are several ways you can address it.
Firstly, if it is a minor issue such as a non-working HVAC system, you can ask the seller to take care of the problem, include it in your purchase agreement and later negotiate.
However, if the issue is major, such as a foundation problem, then you could delay the closing of the deal until it is completely resolved. Although this delay may extend your move-in date and possibly complicate the entire process, it would give both parties enough time to resolve the problems.
If the issue you find cannot be resolved, then you have the option of canceling the home purchase or taking legal action, which is usually the last resort in extreme circumstances.
Buying a house is no easy task, especially when you get to the final stage of the process and are a step away from closing the deal. The final walk-through in the homebuying procedure is very important and should not be skipped because it will help you ensure that you are making a sound transaction.
For more information, refer to our post and learn about the basics of pre-possession inspection and its importance.