Understanding The Final Walkthrough


You may have heard the term “final walk-through” when people are about to buy a house. But what, exactly, is this?

A final walk-through is when buyers walk through the house they’re about to buy before they sign closing documents. If you’re a buyer, the purpose of this is to ensure the terms of your contract are met before you take ownership of the home.

If this is your first time buying a house, the walk-through is probably new to you. To help you better understand what this entails, we answered the three most common questions. Read on to learn more.  

When should you schedule a walk-through?

The final walk-through should be scheduled after the seller moves out (if you’re purchasing the home vacant vs. buying a home that is currently rented out) and as close to the closing date as possible. Ideally, you’ll do the walk-through the day before or the same day as the closing.

What should you look for?

The point of the walk-through is to ensure that the property’s condition hasn’t changed since you put in an offer on the house. Normal wear and tear is to be expected and you should also make sure that all agreed-upon repairs have been completed.

Go through each room to check for any damage. Pay attention to the systems (cooling, heating, plumbing) and working parts (doors, windows, garage doors). This is not the time for a thorough inspection like the one conducted before signing the Purchase and Sales agreement. Rather, the walk-through is an active process and also a good time to make sure all items have been removed, unless otherwise agreed upon. After moving through the interior of the house room by room, check on the exterior of the home for any potential damage there.

What if you find something you don’t like?

What happens if the sellers left a bunch of trash, damaged a wall while moving, or did not complete an agreed upon repair?

If this happens, the lawyers will typically negotiate something called a hold back.

This means a certain amount of money will be held back from the seller’s proceeds. The funds will then be used to deal with whatever issue needs to be addressed. Generally speaking, a hold back does not hold up your sale. You should still be able to close on the home right away.

However, as every situation is different, it’s always a good idea to discuss your walk-through and anything you discover with your real estate agent.  

Ariel Szabo