In 2021, home sales in the US hit their highest level in 15 years. 6.12 million homes changed hands as people looked to move on to pastures new after the initial phase of the pandemic.
If the buyers were savvy, one thing all of those home sales should have had in common was a home walkthrough before closing. A home walkthrough is a crucial final step to give you peace of mind before you sign on the dotted line. But it’s not as well known as a home appraisal and may leave some of us scratching our heads.
Let’s take a deep dive into what happens at a home walkthrough and what you should expect from one.
What Is a Home Walkthrough?
The home walkthrough is the final part of the home buying process.
You’ve agreed on the sale price already and have completed the home inspection. By this point, any repairs you agreed on with the owner should have been carried out already. The home walkthrough is your last chance to view the property before you become the legal owner.
What to Look for on a Final Walkthrough
You have two main goals on the final walkthrough. Firstly, to check that nothing has changed substantially since the last time you viewed the home. Secondly, to make sure that all repairs have been carried out and you are happy with the standard.
Note that this is not the same as the home inspection. This is not the time to start identifying major faults and negotiating with the owner. But if there are any minor issues, you can resolve these with the owner before the sale closes.
Here are a few things to check that are easy to overlook:
- Do all the lights work?
- Do the toilets flush?
- Are there any leaks beneath the sinks?
- Do all the doors open and close as expected (including the garage door)?
- Does the HVAC system work?
If you find any problems, talk to your agent and the vendor as soon as possible.
When to Conduct the Home Walkthrough
The home walkthrough should take place as close to closing time as possible. It could even happen on the way to the office to complete the closing on the home.
What if you don’t feel confident about inspecting repairs yourself? Most of us are not contractors, so it’s natural to want a second opinion on whether repairs have been carried out correctly. We recommend scheduling a reinspection from the home inspector to make sure.
This will be an added expense and you need to schedule it ahead of the final walkthrough. But it can give you peace of mind that the repairs have been carried out to an acceptable standard. Knowing that you’re going to take this step may also motivate the seller to make a good job of the repairs.
Is It Too Late to Negotiate?
This depends. Most of the time, nothing has substantially changed between viewing the property and the final walkthrough. But what if a tornado has ripped through the area and brought a tree down on the property right before closing?
This is a serious issue that you can’t ignore. Even more minor issues like water ingress are a cause for concern. If there’s major damage, your lender may not close on the mortgage until it’s been put right.
However big or small the issue, try to settle it between yourself and the vendor. If the issue is not too serious, you may be able to negotiate on the repair costs and still complete it as planned.
What Should You Expect on a Home Walkthrough
You can expect time and privacy when you conduct the final walkthrough.
Usually, the seller and their agent will not be there. In many cases, they will already have moved out and you’ll have an empty property to inspect.
You should also be able to take your time. Bring a checklist with you along with the disclosures made by the owner before selling. This will help to focus your mind on what you need to look for.
Also, ask to see receipts to confirm that repairs have been carried out ahead of the walkthrough.
In most cases, there are no issues and you can complete the walkthrough fairly quickly. But the key is that you should have as long as you need to feel satisfied that the home condition is acceptable and as you expected.
When Time Is of the Essence
If you’re selling your home, the final walkthrough could be very daunting. Especially if you know or suspect that your home is not in the best shape. Thankfully, there is an easier way.
If you sell your home for cash, you will not have to go through the final walkthrough. This is perfect for people who need to sell their home but don’t have the time or money to carry out repairs.
The process works like this:
- Call the cash for homes company
- Arrange a walkthrough of the property (no home inspection needed)
- They make a fair cash offer
- You accept or reject it
- If you accept, you agree on a closing date with them
Closing a home under normal circumstances can be stressful. You never know what might show up in the final walkthrough. But when you sell your home for cash, the buyer understands that they’re buying it as-is.
There’ll be no last-minute negotiations and no unforeseen expenses. You’ll get the price you agreed on and you can walk away. Sometimes, this can happen in a matter of days.
Sell Your Home for Cash to We Buy Houses Memphis
At We Buy Houses Memphis, we get people moving, fast.
We make fair cash offers for houses that are in poor condition or when you just need to get cash for your home quickly. All it takes is a quick phone call and a home walkthrough. After that, we’ll make you an offer you can accept or reject.
Are you ready for your valuation? Call us today at 901-300-4165 or reach out online.