The notion of a “final walk-through” seems to confuse both buyers and sellers of homes. Here is an explanation of a walk-through.
What is a walk-through? What is its purpose? Is it important or just a formality? Can it be used to re-negotiate the terms of the contract at the last-minute? Let’s look.
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.
One requirement often seen in contracts about the condition of the home at time of settlement and possession by the new owner is that it will be “in substantially the same condition” as on the date of the contract. Another frequent requirement is that it will be “broom clean.” Still another is that all the working parts of the home (such as heating and cooling systems, plumbing, appliances that convey, electrical systems, etc.) be “in normal working order.”
Sometimes contracts and addenda to them require things like new carpeting to be installed, gutters to be cleaned out, and HVAC systems to be “professionally serviced and filters changed.”
Read Your Contract
It’s a good idea for both buyer and seller to review their contract paying attention to what is said about the condition in which the home will be delivered. Those are the things that should get attention at the walk-through.
While walk-throughs are a formality of closing or settlement, they are not something you should take lightly. This is your chance to get any problems straightened out.