What to do on your Final Walk-Through?

What is the Final Walk-Through?

A final walk-through is your opportunity as the buyer to revisit the property you’re purchasing before the closing. The goal of the visit is to ensure the home is in the same condition it was when you agreed to buy it. It’s also an opportunity for you to ensure that the seller has moved out or substantially moved out, and that the seller did not cause any damage during the move-out. 

This visit also allows us to assess whether the seller has met the terms of the purchase agreement and removed all their personal property. This is also the time to confirm that specific repairs have been met.


There are several items you should confirm during the final walk-through of the property. 


Here is a quick checklist:

  • The seller’s belongings have been fully moved out.
  • Any repairs have been completed if agreed to prior to closing.
  • All appliances that the purchase agreement specified would remain are in proper working order (normal wear and tear accepted). 
  • That the seller left copies of all manuals and instructions for appliances and fixtures, if they were available.
  • Door and window locks are fully functioning.
  • The HVAC systems (furnace, air-conditioning, etc.) are working properly.
  • All faucets are working, toilets flush properly, and there are no plumbing leaks (look under sinks). 
  • All walls, ceilings and doorways are intact and not damaged from moving.
  • The yard is free of any debris or damage.
  • The garage door openers and all keys are in the home or with their agent.
  • Gas, water, and electric meter readings as needed 


When is the walk-through?

The final walk-through commonly takes place 24 to 48 hours before closing. The home purchase agreement should contain a provision allowing for the walk-through.


What to bring

A checklist (either on paper or your phone) that can mark off during your visit. Your real estate agent should be present during the final walk-through.Flashlights can be helpful!


How long will it take?

The duration of the walk-through is up to you-- there is no legal maximum or minimum time limit. Generally speaking, prepare to take the time necessary to carefully evaluate the home. Rushing through a final walk-through can lead to regret, as you could accidentally overlook flaws or breaches of contract. Allow from 30 minutes to an hour depending on the size and type of property. 

Can a buyer back out if they are unhappy?

For smaller items of damage that happened after the purchase agreement was entered, it’s more realistic that the parties would agree to have the buyer withhold from the seller an amount necessary to make the repairs at closing or get a cash credit. 

Legally, however, you may be allowed to back out if the property does not meet the obligations detailed in your real estate contract.Typically, sellers and buyers agree to either monetary compensation or other solutions to ensure the transaction moves forward. 

We always advise the buyer to review the situation carefully and figure out whether or not it’s worth delaying the closing or mentioning it to the seller. Larger issues like missing appliances or major damage to the property should not be overlooked.

Most sellers are open to making things right. Consult with an attorney if your problems cannot be resolved.