Is it time for your final walkthrough?
If you’re buying a home we have 10 tips to make sure your final walkthrough is smooth sailing.
Hey there! I’m Lindsay, a proud Anthem resident and your local REALTOR® with the Wise Move AZ Team at Realty ONE Group. If you want to stay up to date on all things Anthem and Real Estate then you need to subscribe to our YouTube Channel. Pro Tip: You’re also going to want to hit that little bell icon while you’re there, so that you’re the first to know when our new videos are posted every single Thursday!
The Final Walkthrough
The final walkthrough is an important piece of the home buying process that you need to prepare for. As your Anthem, Arizona REALTOR®, doing the final walkthrough with our buyers is one of my favorite things. This meeting signifies that we are so close to closing on your new home! There is no better feeling for me, than getting you into the home you’ve worked so hard to buy.
Through this blog post I will give you 10 tips to make the most of your final walkthough, that will leave you with the confidence and excitement you deserve. At the end of this post I will also give you access to a copy of the Arizona Buyer Pre-Closing WalkThrough form, so that you know exactly what you’ll be signing.
If you’re selling your home, don’t worry, we will be sharing our best tips for sellers next week!
The Contract Says…
First things first, before we get to our tips, let’s see what the Arizona Residential Resale Purchase Contract has to say about the Buyer Pre-Closing Walkthrough:
“Seller grant Buyer and Buyer’s inspector(s) reasonable access to conduct walkthrough(s) of the Premises for the purpose of satisfying Buyer that any corrections or repairs agreed to by Seller have been completed, and the Premises are in substantially the same condition as of the date of contract acceptance. If Buyer does not conduct such walkthrough(s), Buyer releases Seller and Broker(s) from liability for any defects that could have been discovered”
Okay, I know it’s always a bit dry when we read through the contract, but this is SO important.
Long story short, the point of the walkthrough is to make sure the house is in substantially the same condition and that any agreed upon repairs are completed. It is NOT an opportunity for you, the Buyer, to negotiate further repairs.
Tips for a Smooth Walkthrough
So, what can you do to make sure your Final Walkthrough goes smoothly:
#1 Show Up
This might sound silly, but being there, in person, for your final walkthrough is important. Your REALTOR® can schedule a time that works for you. If it’s impossible for you to physically be there, you’ll want to ask a family member or friend to do the walk through on your behalf. Although your REALTOR® can do a lot of things for you, most are not allowed to do the final walkthrough on your behalf, because of liability issues.
#2 Review Receipts in Advance
In an ideal world, you will be receiving receipts and photos that confirm that agreed repairs have been completed and paid for. It isn’t mandatory for the Seller to provide these, but many times it is in their best interest to do so. If you get receipts, review them against the BINSR. If you have questions or something is not clear, let your REALTOR® know as soon as possible.
#3 Don’t Leave It to the Last Minute
If possible, do your walkthrough 3 days prior to closing. This way, if anything is wrong, there is a bit of time to have it corrected before closing. In Arizona, the Pre-Closing Walkthrough Form can also act as a Cure Notice, if the home is not in substantially the same condition or if agreed repairs have not been made. By issuing a cure notice, the Seller automatically has 3 days to correct the problem.
#4 Wait until the Seller is Gone
If possible, plan to do the walkthrough once the Seller has moved out. It’s often easier to observe the property once the Seller has removed their personal items.
#5 Come Prepared
Bring a notepad, the BINSR, the Inspection Report, and possibly listing photos with you to the final walkthrough.
#6 Verify Repairs
With the help of your REALTOR® go through each and every item agreed to on the BINSR. Check to make sure it has been corrected in a professional manner. If it’s something you can’t personally check, consider bringing a professional who can. For example, if the BINSR included roof repairs, we don’t want you climbing up there to take a look. If the Seller hasn’t provided photos of the repairs you may want to bring your inspector, or another professional, to the property to take a look.
I had a closing where the Seller agreed to complete roof repairs, assured us they were done but refused to provide any proof, and when we did the final walkthrough it turned out NONE of them had been completed. Make sure you check every repair!
#7 Walk the Whole Property
Now that you’ve checked to make sure the necessary repairs are completed, be sure to walk the whole property. This includes the front yard, back yard, and inside. Please note that this is not the time to point out paint chips or other small things. You are there to make sure the roof is still on, the range hasn’t walked away, and so on!
#8 Test it
Make sure anything that conveys with the home works and that you have the necessary items to operate them. This may include remotes for lighting or fans, and as we see more and more smart homes, it may also include login instructions for apps. If there is something you need to operate the home that hasn’t been left behind, let your agent know right away. Don’t forget to turn on lights, test the stove, and open the fridge. Everything should be in working order if it was that way at the time you went under contract.
#9 Sign the Form
I always encourage my clients to sign the Buyer Pre-Closing Walkthrough form right then and there. You have so much going on in the last few days before closing, by doing it now, it saves you from having to do it on your computer later.
#10 Stay Calm
If all agreed repairs are completed and the home is in substantially the same condition you are good to go! Congratulations!
If this isn’t the case, don’t panic! Sadly, you aren’t the first or the last person this will happen to, and there are lots of options. Your REALTOR® will be able to walk you through the next steps. Usually if it’s something small it can be corrected before closing. If it is something larger, like the roof blew away in a storm the night before, then you may need to talk about whether you will be delaying closing or if you’ll be closing and dealing with the issues afterwards. Either way, whether it’s something big or small, a good agent will be working hard to minimize the impact on your family.
So, there you have it! What do you think? Are you ready to tackle your final walkthrough? Let us know in the comments below.
Buyer Pre-Closing Walkthrough Form
As promised, if you would like to download a copy of the Pre-Closing Walkthrough Form, you will find it here.
See YOU next Thursday!