Final Walk-Through Tips for Homebuyers

couple on their final walkthrough of their new home

When you’re buying a house, the final walk-through is your chance to inspect the home and make sure there are no surprises before you move in.

Here’s what you need to know about how the final walk-through works, and what you should look for.

What Is a Final Home Walk-Through?

The final home walk-through is an informal inspection of the property before closing on a sale. During the final walk-through, you and your real estate agent or Realtor may inspect the house room by room to confirm it’s in the condition you expect.

The final walk-through shouldn’t be confused with the home inspection, which involves a professional examination of the structure and functionality of the home. That occurs earlier in the homebuying process. The walk-through is to verify that the home is in the expected condition and any agreed-upon repairs have been completed.

When Does the Final Walk-Through Happen?

The final walk-through is done just before closing, usually after the seller’s belongings have been moved out. It’s best to schedule the final walk-through as near to the closing date as possible to limit the chance of new issues popping up before you take possession. The day of or the day before your closing is a good idea.

Who Attends the Final Home Walk-Through?

Your agent or Realtor will be your teammate on the final home walk-through. Lean on their experience and expertise to thoroughly check out the home. The seller and seller’s agent typically don’t attend the final walk-through, so you and your real estate agent will have privacy and the ability to take your time.

If any repairs were agreed to as part of the sale, you may want a home inspector to attend and confirm the repairs have been made.

What To Look For at the Final Home Walk-Through

You want to be thorough during the final walk-through because once you close the sale, any problems with the home will be your responsibility.

Here are some of the key points to confirm during your home walk-through:

  • The seller’s belongings have been removed.
  • All items included in the sale are accounted for, such as appliances.
  • All agreed-upon repairs have been made.
  • No new damage has occurred since the home inspection.
  • Windows and doors open, close, and lock correctly.
  • Appliances are in good working order.
  • Electrical, heating, and cooling systems work properly.
  • Faucets, drains, and plumbing are working.
  • There’s no sign of mold or pests.
  • The yard or outdoor space looks good.

How Long Does the Final Walk-Through Take?

The time it takes to complete a final walk-through depends on the size and type of the property. A final walk-through on a smaller home can be done in less than an hour, while a larger property may require several hours. It’s important to take your time and avoid rushing through the home. Give yourself the time you need to be thorough, so that you know exactly what you’ll be walking into when you move in.

What If There Are Problems With the Home Walk-Through?

If the final walk-through reveals any problems with the home, your real estate agent can help you communicate with the seller to find a solution. One option is to ask the seller to make repairs before closing, or to pay for the cost of the repairs if you don’t want to delay the closing.

If the issue is major and you’re unable to find a resolution, it’s possible to walk away from the deal.

Final Home Walk-Through FAQ

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about the final walk-through.

Why do a final walk-through?

Buying a home is expensive. The last thing you want is additional costs from unexpected issues with the home after closing. The final walk-through protects your purchase and confirms that you’re getting your money’s worth in the deal.

What is a blue-tape walk-through?

If you’re building a home, a blue-tape walk-through verifies that the builder has completed the required work. Like a final walk-through, a blue-tape walkthrough is meant to confirm that the home is in acceptable condition. A blue-tape walk-through usually is performed a few weeks before you move in.

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