Your final walk-through checklist
By the time you complete your final walk-through as a homebuyer, you are typically just two steps away from owning a house (remember how long that checklist was when you first started it?)
And while that’s an incredibly thrilling time, it also means that you are just two steps away from being responsible for all the issues within a house, as well. Your final walk-through is truly the LAST opportunity you have to identify issues (and request changes) in your future home without having to go through arbitration or more formal legal channels.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t have a ball walking through your house, and proactively high-fiving over the features and rooms that will soon be alllll yours. It does mean that in between the exclaiming and wide-eyed marveling, that we have some official work to wrap up.
Here’s the walk-through checklist I recommend buyers run through during the final walk-through on their new house. (And don’t worry, even if you are too busy whooping and hollering, I’ll make sure we don’t leave the property without ticking off all these boxes.)
What to bring with you
Remember, the main point of the walk-through is to ensure that all the issues that arose in the inspection have been fixed as agreed upon. So the first item in your walk-through checklist should be to bring your inspection report and a camera (or your smart phone) so you can tick off all the expected repairs and then photograph any remaining issues you see.
Plumbing and draining
- Run water from every faucet, including utility sinks and basement bathrooms
- Check under sinks for leaks or cracks in the pipes
- Flush every toilet
Systems, appliances and electrical
- Test appliances — including dishwasher, washer/dryer, refrigerator/freezer, microwave, stove, oven
- Test all systems — including heat, air conditioning, etc.
- Check water dispenser and ice machine in fridge/freezer
- Run the garbage disposal
- Test the doorbell
- Turn on and off all lights and ceiling fans, using switches or remotes
Garage, storage and basement
- Test to ensure automatic garage doors (and their openers) work
- Verify that all storage items have been removed from the home
- Open and close every door and window
- Open and close doors, closets, cabinets and drawers
- Confirm that the sellers have not inadvertently left behind any personal items (check that cabinet above the fridge… that’s where the hidden treasure often is!)
Must-fix inspection items
- Verify that any post-inspection issues have been resolved as noted in the addendum to your purchase agreement (if applicable and if receipts have not been obtained)
Fixtures and items that were included in the purchase agreement
- Check that fixtures haven’t been removed or replaced
- Verify that agreed-upon appliances or furniture are still onsite
All good? Walk-through checklist complete? Okay, then it truly is time to dance around the kitchen. And then head to the closing, where we make this official at last. Congrats!
P.S. Need help finding the right house for a kitchen dance party — or whatever sparks your fancy? Reach out any time for help searching and buying your dream house.