It’s almost time to move into your new home, but there’s one thing left to do: your walk through.
It’s important to know exactly what to look for before you conduct your walk through. The more details you pick up on, the greater your chances of moving into a home that’s ready for you.
So, to be fully prepared, read this post to find out what to look for in a new house walk through!
What to Know About Your Walk Through
One of the most important things to remember about your new house walk through is that it doesn’t count as an inspection. By this point, you should have already had the home inspected by a professional.
If you haven’t had the home inspected, you might consider hiring an inspector to accompany you on your walk through. The more trained eyes on your home’s basic systems and structural integrity, the better.
Also, if the home has been unoccupied for awhile, it’s even more important to perform a walk through.
You never know what the seller might have overlooked. Someone might have accidentally left a faucet running, the A/C on, or something plugged into a wall socket. If so, these could cause serious problems in the days leading up to your move-in date.
During the walk through, you should acquire the manuals for appliances, the furnace, and the A/C system from the seller. If the home has automatic garage door openers, request they be left out so you can test them.
Also, make sure you receive all the keys. You need a complete set to every door lock in the house, and any outside locks for a shed or garage.
Tips for a Successful Walk Through
When you go on your walk through, you need to confirm that everything is in working order and that the house is in the same condition as it is described in the contract. The only things that should be different are those changes you negotiated in the contract.
Aside from that, here are some additional tips for a successful walk through:
- Schedule Carefully. Allow for at least seven days between your final walk through and closing in case you identify any major issues.
- Take Your Time. When you perform your walk through, don’t rush! Even if your seller’s representatives tell you that they only have a short amount of time, take as much time as you need.
- Get it in Writing. If you find any major issues, make a list of all items that need to be fixed. Then, mail your list using certified mail to the seller. Make sure you get a proof of delivery. That way, if there are any future disputes, you’ll have proof you made an issue of it ahead of time.
- Insist on Fixes. Don’t follow through with the purchase of the home until all the issues are fixed. If you close beforehand, the seller won’t be motivated to complete any of the items on your checklist.
What to Look for in a New House Walk Through Checklist
For the most part, all houses are different. But if you want to know generally what to look for in a new house walk through, you’ll need a detailed checklist.
You can create one of your own, but be sure it includes these items:
- Make sure all doors and windows are well-sealed. They should open, close, and lock properly, and none of the glass should be loose or cracked.
- Has all personal property and unwanted items been removed by the seller according to the terms of your contract?
- Make sure all moldings and trim are securely in place.
- Is there any visible damage to floors or walls?
- Are there any signs of mold or water damage (near appliances and windows in particular)?
- Inspect the paint in every room, closet, and stairway to ensure it is smooth and uniform with no bare spots.
- Check any appliances included with the house to make sure they operate properly, are the appropriate color, and are free of scratches or dents.
- Test all electrical fixtures and outlets. Use something like a cell phone charger or small appliance to make sure every outlet works.
- Are there signs of pest infestations like dry rot, spongy floors, crumbling wood, etc.?
- Make sure the A/C and water heater are operating properly.
- Make sure water does not pool or puddle around or near the foundation. You can use a garden hose to test whether or not the ground around the foundation of the house slopes away from the house.
- Look for cracks in the outside walls, and test to make sure weather stripping is present and secure.
- Inspect the home’s exterior and trim paint to verify that surfaces are all smooth and uniformly covered.
- Does the sprinkler system work properly?
- Make sure the landscaping is finished to your specifications.
- Inspect the roof from the ground, or climb a ladder to take a closer look. A well-built roof’s shingles should form straight lines across the entire surface. They should be flat, tight together, and uniform in appearance. If your roof is tiled, look for broken or cracked tiles. Make sure that water is directed away from the home with gutters and downspouts.
How to Handle Problems After Your Walk Through
If you find that the seller hasn’t followed through on their promises, or you realize that there are other issues they should address, approach it with care.
If it’s something minor – like a burned out light bulb or a floor that needs a good mopping – you may not have to disrupt your settlement. You might even consider handling slightly more costly issues on your own in the interest of settling on time.
But if you find a problem that may prove much worse down the road (a serious leak or a crack in the ceiling), you and your agent should contact the seller’s agent to negotiate a solution to the problem.
If the seller is unwilling to pay for the repairs, think about how much it’ll cost you in legal fees or to delay closing.
The best strategy is to have a real estate agent who can help you determine which issues are worth pursuing and which you can handle on your own – from the beginning. If you’re buying a home in the Austin, Ft. Hood, or Killeen area, contact me today. We can solve all your real estate issues together to get you into the home you’ve always wanted.