Reduce come-back risk with walk-trough inspection
A walk-through inspection won’t uncover everything a full inspection would, but it can still help reduce buyer risk in a hot market. Every agent should be able to spot the basic defects, or positive attributes, the residence under scrutiny should display to be able to provide the potential seller with the correct information about the condition of the house. Not disclosing defects could have dire consequences for the buyer, but it could also come back to bite the property professional in the back.
A final walkthrough is mainly done to make sure that the property an agent is showing his potential buyers in the condition in which it was greed upon to be bought, including whether agreed-on repairs, if any, were made, and that nothing has gone wrong with the home since you last looked at it.
They’re not a time to begin negotiations with the seller to do repairs or add a contingency to the sale. It is performed before the settlement of the homebuying transaction. Buyers are often pressed for time as the transaction closing date draws near, so they might be tempted to pass on this opportunity. But many issues can come up, and it’s never a good idea to skip the final walkthrough. It id a way to ensure that the home is in the condition the seller agreed it to be in.
A good idea for any agent is to follow a checklist which can help to stay focused on the task and keep you from overlooking something. If the home is occupied, ask the previous owners questions and exchange contact information.
Sellers often move out of their homes before closing and it’s even more important that buyers conduct a final walkthrough in situations where the seller has already vacated the residence.
Problems tend to arise when homes sit vacant for any period of time. For example, termite companies plug shower drains. They may use paper and let the water run when they test showers. A small drip-drip-drip can turn into a flooded bathroom if the termite inspector neglects to remove all the paper over the drain and doesn’t completely turn off the shower handle.
Disconnecting refrigerators connected to the house water line and moving out washing machines can also cause floods. Old plumbing that hasn’t been used for a while can spring leaks.
- Turn on all the lights
- run the water and check for leaks under sinks
- make sure the stove work and other appliances part of the sale
- hit the handle on the toilet
- Check garage door openers
- Open and close all doors
- inspect ceilings, walls, and floors
- Run the garbage disposal and exhaust fans.
- Test the heating and air conditioning
- Open and close windows
- Make sure all debris is removed from the home.
When the Home is Occupied
Sometimes sellers don’t move out until the day the transaction closes, or even for a few days after closing. Buyers should do a final walkthrough in the presence of the seller in these situations because the seller knows all the quirks about the home and should be able to answer any questions the buyers might have.
A good question to ask a seller is, “What is the one improvement you’ve always wanted to make but never got around to implementing?”
This is also a good time to ask the seller for a forwarding address so you can send mail if necessary. It’s smart to stay on good terms with the seller. The final walkthrough can provide an excellent opportunity for all parties to say hello.