Final Walk Through

What is a Final Walkthrough?

The Final walkthrough is as much a real estate tradition as it is a part of the escrow closing process. The final walk-through is the buyer’s last look before closing

 The final walk is not really an inspection per se as you have already done your due diligence at the beginning of escrow. The final walkthrough is usually more casual in nature as this very close to the end of the sale process and buyers are starting to get excited about moving into their new home.

The purpose of a final walkthrough is to confirm:

  1. The Seller is in the process of or has already moved out.
  2. The property is clean and in “Broom Swept” condition.
  3. No junk or rubbish has been left behind inside or in the garage.
  4. If the seller removed any hanging pictures or flat-screen TVs that were attached to the walls that the walls have been patched and painted.
  5. The property is in substantially the same condition as when you first saw it.
  6. Any repairs that the seller agreed to have been completed and are satisfactory to the buyer.
  7. You get to see the property one last time before you buy it!

The final walkthrough is not required to complete the sale, so it can be waived if the buyer chooses. If you want to measure any rooms, don’t forget to bring your TAPE MEASURE and a piece of paper and a pencil. 

When is the Final Walkthrough?

According to Paragraph 15 of the Residential Purchase Agreement- the final walk-through can be anytime 5 days prior to closing.

Ideally, you want the final walkthrough to be after the seller has moved out and before signing loan documents.

After the seller has moved you can get a much better look at the condition of the property without all of their stuff in the way. If the seller is waiting until the eleventh hour to move, then sometimes this is not possible because it could delay closing.

I like to schedule the final walk-through before loan document signing so that if there is a problem that comes up you can address it before closing.

How Long does a Final Walkthrough last?

Final walkthroughs can be fast, just 15 to 30 minutes or up to an hour. It depends on how big the home is and if the buyer wants to take their time and hang out or not. 

Who Goes to a Final Walkthrough?

Usually, the buyer, the buyer’s agent, and the listing agent attend a final walkthrough. Sellers are not required to be there, but sometimes they will come to meet the buyer or to show the buyer how to use the remote controls for Audio Visual systems, Automatic Gates, and/or Security systems. 

Final Walkthrough Form

While you don’t have to write anything, you can just sign the bottom, I usually like to put a sentence in like “buyer is satisfied with the condition of the property” if everything looks OK. If there is a problem, you can note it on here so the seller can fix it before closing. 

Final Walkthrough Checklist

Final Walkthrough Problems

The two most common problems I run into with the final walkthrough are: the seller has NOT moved yet or the property is dirty.

As a buyer, you can’t really do too much if the seller hasn’t moved yet and it looks like they are going to be late. I have helped a packrat seller or two move so they could close in time in my day and I can tell you it’s not fun. If the seller just needs a few days, you can sometimes take possession after closing with a close of escrow plus one, two or three days. 5 days is the most free-time I would consider giving the seller to move out. If the seller needs more time than that, you might want to consider extending the close of escrow or charge them for it with a seller leaseback.

Everybody has different standards of cleanliness. Sometimes sellers forget to clean or don’t clean at all or the cleaning that they did isn’t good enough for the buyer. You can handle this two ways, give the seller a second opportunity to clean it or hire a professional cleaning service.

Most sellers prefer to offer buyers credits rather than repairing things (except for investors and builders). One reason is that with construction work, it can be done a number of different ways with different workers and materials, with or without permits, and inherently the seller has a motivation to make everything the cheapest as they are paying for it and won’t be using it.

If the seller agreed to make a repair and it wasn’t completed to the buyer’s satisfaction- the buyer can request the repair to be made over again. If the buyer doesn’t want the seller to fix the repair they can just ask for credit instead or have there be a holdback in escrow and close.

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