The Final Walkthrough - An Agent Success Guide
The final walkthrough is your last chance to ensure that the property your clients are about to purchase is in the same condition as when you made the offer. It's a crucial step in the closing process, often overlooked or rushed through by eager agents. In this blog post, we'll walk you through the final walkthrough process, step by step, ensuring that you don't miss a beat.
Schedule the Final Walkthrough Early
One common mistake is waiting until the last minute to schedule the final walkthrough. As soon as you receive the closing confirmation date, send an email to your clients suggesting a suitable day for the walkthrough. Typically, it's done either on the day of closing or the evening before. This ensures you have ample time to address any issues that may arise during the walkthrough.
While the seller is responsible for having utilities on through the closing date, it's wise to remind your clients to activate utility services in their name for the day of or the day after closing. There's nothing worse than arriving at the property for the walkthrough and finding that the utilities are off. It can lead to unnecessary complications and delays.
Review the Attorney Review Letter
Before you even step foot in the property, take the time to review the final attorney review letter. This document outlines all the repairs and agreements that have been made during the negotiation process. It's your reference guide to ensure that everything promised has been delivered.
Now, it's time to get into the nitty-gritty of the walkthrough. Your systematic approach should cover every aspect of the property:
- Appliances: Test all appliances, including the refrigerator, ice maker, microwave, dishwasher, oven, and stovetop. Sellers often have cleaning crews come in post-move, and sometimes, burners may not light due to cleaning residue.
- Cabinets: Ensure all cabinets are empty and in working order.
- Plumbing: Check all faucets and toilets for leaks and functionality.
- Bathrooms: Inspect for cleanliness, and make sure all toilets and showers are in working order.
- Windows and Window Treatments: Verify that window treatments, if included, are in place, and check for broken windows.
- Mechanicals: Test heating and cooling systems, even in the summer. Make sure everything is operational.
- Exterior: Do a visual inspection of the roof, windows, and landscaping.
- Garage: Don't forget the garage. Ensure it's not a last-minute storage dump. Test the garage door and check for any included items.
- Keys and Codes: Confirm that you have keys for every door and the garage door opener, along with any access codes. Avoid the headache of chasing down missing keys after closing.
Documentation and Holdbacks
If you encounter any issues during the final walkthrough, document them with photos and notes. Share this information with your attorney and negotiate any necessary holdbacks or credits with the seller. Your attorney will guide you through this process.
Remember, the final walkthrough is your opportunity to ensure that your buyers are getting exactly what they've paid for. It's better to be thorough and address any concerns before closing, rather than discovering unpleasant surprises after they receive the keys.