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The Final Walkthrough: A Checklist

Yay! You’ve finally bought your own property [1], well almost. After all the looking and haggling and signing and worrying, you’re more than ready to get it done already.
It’s an easy thing to rush the final walkthough of a house or apartment, but don’t. The final walkthrough is the last time you will be able to make a home inspection [2]of the dwelling and have the owner take responsibility for any issues. Once you sign the final papers, you are the owner, and therefore responsible for anything wrong with the home.
Don’t wait until the house is yours before you discover the bathroom’s sink faucets actually flush the toilet.

Landscaping issues
Mortar if a brick house
Porch (peeling paint, rotten wood)
Check the gutters

Turn on and off every light fixture
Run water and look under sinks for leaks
Test all appliances
Check garage door openers
Open and close all doors
Flush toilets
Inspect ceilings, wall and floors
Run garbage disposal and exhaust fans
Test heating and air conditioning
Open and close windows
Make sure all debris is removed from the home
Confirm components are in good working order for all major systems and appliances

Attic and basements/crawl spaces:
Look for discarded items and potential problem areas
Walls and floors

Check for any damage that may have occurred when the sellers moved or that may not have been obvious when you originally looked at the home.

As you inspect, make a checklist of any issues that still need to be resolved in order to meet the conditions in your contract. Bring this list to the seller’s attention and work out home improvement contractor [3]schedules that are acceptable to you. Preferably, you should get everything squared away before you close. If this doesn’t work out for your timing or circumstances, don’t worry. It is not uncommon for home buyers [4]and home sellers [5]to agree on an amount of money to be held in escrow for repairs/remedies to be completed following property closing [6].
You can see that a final walkthrough is a very important step that you should not skip or take lightly. Make sure you include a clause in your purchase contract that ensures you have the right to complete this step. Then take the time to exercise that right.
Related Articles:
Do These Things Before Starting Your Home Search [4]
First-Time Homebuyer: What You Need To Know [7]
Home Inspections [8]