There are many steps to the home buying process and one of the final ones is the final walkthrough. Please note that we call it a walkthrough instead of an inspection — we don’t want to frighten the sellers, though it really is a personal and private home inspection.
In Kitchener-Waterloo the final walkthrough tends to be a formality resulting in a nice little look around the home. No drama. That’s a good thing because final walkthroughs are the buyers’ last chance to confirm that everything is as it should be. If issues are found, there is still time to have them addressed before closing.
What happens at a final walkthrough?
So what happens at a final walkthrough? What should you be checking during the walkthrough?
7 things to check during the final walkthrough
1. Chattels and fixtures
The final walkthrough is the time to ensure that the chattels and fixtures that are included in the sale of the property are still present and are in good working order. Run the dishwasher, clothes dryer and other appliances. Open the refrigerator. Test the A/C and furnace.
Often the home inspection will lead to minor (and sometimes major) repairs being done by the seller before closing. The final walkthrough is a chance to ensure that you are satisfied with the work.
Pro Tip: Your realtor will require that the work be done by certified professionals and that invoices, receipts and permits be supplied to the buyer.
During the walkthrough, it is a good idea to turn on the faucets, flush the toilets and run the water. You want to make sure the water runs clear. And you want to make sure the pressure is adequate. (Low water pressure in homes with galvanized plumbing may indicate a leaky pipe hidden somewhere in the walls). As you are running the plumbing, check for leaks, especially under sinks and around toilets. Finally, check and make sure the tub and sinks are draining at an acceptable speed.
Turn on the lights (inside and out), open the automatic garage doors and check the outlets using a desk light or a phone charger (or an outlet tester if you are so nerdy).
If there is a security system (rare in Kitchener-Waterloo) check to see how it works and that it is working.
Pro tip: It is much easier to get information about things from the seller before closing than after.
Check to see that the windows and doors open, and close easily and lock properly.
Verify that all smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and fire alarm systems are installed are working properly.
Often, as the final walkthrough happens the day before closing, the home will be empty. This is the best time to check for any indications of mould, mice, bugs, water damage and other things that may have been hidden by furniture and appliances.
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