Thursday, March 20, 2008

Preparing For Your Final Walk Through

The final walk through can be a crucial step in the home-buying process. Before the final closing on your home you will have the opportunity to inspect the property again, also known as a final walk through. This final step is to ensure that the property is in the condition you agreed to buy and that any agreed upon repairs have been made. Typically the buyer just before settlement conducts a final walk-through. The idea is to be sure the seller is delivering the home to the buyer in the condition they agreed to under the terms of their contract. Therefore it includes checking on anything the contract says about the condition of the property. What should you look for in a walk through inspection? To start with, you want to make sure that the overall condition of the home hasn’t changed since you signed the contract. Below are some things you should look for in a pre closing inspection, it is also a good idea to bring along a checklist so that there is nothing overlooked. • Ensure that all required repairs have been satisfactorily completed or are in the process of being done • Did the seller leave "junk” or debris behind in the basement, attic, yard or garage? • Have the items that the seller agreed to leave been removed? • Are the instruction books and warranties for any appliances or fixtures available? In addition to looking at condition, repairs, and items remaining or removed, pay particular attention to key areas such as: • Major systems and appliances – Confirm that these components are in good working order • Attic and basements/crawl spaces – Look for discarded items and potential problem areas • Walls and floors – Check for any damage that may have occurred when the sellers moved or that may not have been obvious when you originally looked at the home • Exterior – Check the condition of windows, doors, sprinklers, gutters, and landscaping If you are purchasing a home that had occupants prior to your inspection, keep in mind that personal belongings, furniture, etc., may have obscured items/areas and made them inaccessible for inspection. This is why it is important to make sure that the previous owners have moved out before your final walk through. The process of moving out of a home can cause damage, so be sure to look for anything that may have occurred when the sellers moved or that may not have been obvious when you originally looked at the home. White it can be easier to visually inspect a home that was vacant house prior to your inspection, there are also things to be on the lookout for, especially if the house has been vacant for a long time. The mechanical systems of certain appliances or major systems such as the HVAC may have dried out and caused accelerated deterioration or failure. In addition, because the utilities may have been turned off, there may be possible leaks may not have been detected during your inspection because lack of use had prevented any observable evidence. Unfortunately, things don't always go as planned when buying a home. If you find during your final home inspection that the seller has not lived up to their part of the agreement, you want to know about it in advance of the closing so a solution can be agreed upon before money changes hands. If this occurs you do have options, it is a good idea to work with a real estate attorney to come to a satisfactory arrangement.
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