The much-anticipated closing day is upon you. However, there is one major step homebuyers or sellers should complete before we reach the finish line – the final walkthrough.
Why is this process so important? How is it different from the home inspection early in the home buying stage? Who participates in this process? What goal do we want to achieve? We’re answering all these questions and more today.
What Is a Final Walkthrough?
Exactly as it sounds, a final walkthrough is going through the house you’re about to buy. During this time, you and your real estate agent can look over the property room by room. It’s a thorough review, inside and out. The goal is to ensure that all things are working as they should. Remember that this is different from an inspection, on your final visitation you are ensuring the other side has fulfilled the obligations of the agreement before closing.
What is the Purpose of the Final Walk-Through?
Think twice before you decide to skip this step of the process. A final walk-through provides you with one last opportunity to ensure that the property is in the same condition when you agreed to buy the property and issues raised during the home inspection have been fixed.
Here are a few things you want to see in your final walkthrough:
- Repairs that were agreed upon have been completed.
- The seller has moved out of the property.
- All the fixtures and furniture during the sale are present.
- All appliances and home systems are functioning.
- The property has been cleaned to the minimum standard of being in broom swept condition.
- Any junk/large items not part of the transaction have been removed/dumped as usually municipal waste disposal will not pick these items up from the curb.
- Checking to ensure the seller has not damaged the property in moving out (holes in the wall, counter damage, etc).
Who Should be Present at the Final Walk-Through?
Even with solid preparation, the final walk-through can be stressful and confusing. Although your real estate agent is alongside you in this process, it’s beneficial to have an attorney on your side.
Count on Integris Law for a team you can trust. We are a nimble and modern firm that makes your real estate experience a breeze. We can help you draft a final walk-through checklist. When inspecting your future home, we can provide suggestions for what to look out for.
It’s rare for the seller and buyer to be in the same room during this process. However, if the home seller is around, their realtor should be present as well.
When is the Final Walk-Through?
The most ideal time for final walk-throughs should be as close to the closing day as possible, ideally after the seller or tenants have moved out. Some happen a day or two before closing. It can also be set on the closing day itself.
It’s a tight schedule, we know. But setting it near the closing day ensures that the property is in the condition you want it to be – completely empty or with all the appliances and fixtures in good working order.
What To Bring to the Final Walkthrough?
Be prepared for anything. Here are some things you should have with you:
- Purchase Agreement – the contract that lays out all the terms agreed upon by the buyer and seller.
- Home Inspection Report – contains all the results from the prior home inspection. Go over this to see which areas the inspector flagged. Find out if the seller made all the repairs that were agreed to.
- Camera – for documentation.
- Something to test outlets – a phone charger or nightlight are excellent tools for this. Use them to test out electrical outlets.
What to do if You See Issues During the Final Walk-Through.
A walk-through may reveal problems, but that’s not a deal breaker. Despite what you may think, you won’t need to start over. Real estate lawyers can communicate with the seller’s party to resolve issues and keep the sale on track.
In our experience, issues are rare and minimal. You can be sure this step will run smoothly when you work with an expert team of agents and lawyers!
Final walk-throughs can be a nerve-wracking experience. There are a lot of things to remember, and even more to check before you move into your new home. You don’t have to face this process alone. Your trusted real estate lawyer can help you go from house hunter to homeowner.
Integris Law has five locations based in Burlington, Oakville, Mississauga and Etobicoke and we are happy to come to you. We provide legal services across the Greater Golden Horseshoe and regularly see clients in Mississauga, Toronto, Oakville, Burlington, Woodbridge, Milton, Brampton, Dundas, Hamilton, and Stoney Creek.