22 Mar Final walk-through tips and conflict management…
You’ve found the home you love in home or condo in toronto , made the offer, and the seller has accepted. Final Walk-Through or look-see does not replace the inspection that you should make after any agreed-upon repairs are completed — those must be verified as far in advance of closing as possible, just in case they have not been completed, or were not completed to the expected standards.
Always do your final walk-through after the sellers have moved, but before you go to closing. The day of closing is often the best time for this inspection. It ensures that the property’s condition hasn’t changed since your last visit and that the terms of your contract will be met. A secondary purpose of the walk through is to make sure the owner has not damaged the home since the professional inspection occurred.
Here’s what you need to know for your final walk-through:
- Look through each room to make sure it is in the same condition as it was when the contract was signed to buy the home.
- Did the movers bang up the walls, rip the rugs or scratch the wooden floors?
Were the moldings around the doors damaged when they moved an appliance from a room?
- Does the heating and air conditioning system still work?
- Are all of the appliances still in working condition? Test all appliances.
- Turn on and off every light fixture.
- Run water & look under sinks for leaks.
- Check garage door openers.
- Open and close all doors.
- Flush toilets.
- Inspect ceilings, wall and floors.
- Run garbage disposal and exhaust fans.
- Test heating and air conditioning.
- Open and close windows.
- Obtain copies of paid bills and any related warranties.
- Screens and storm windows are in place or stored.
- All appliances are operating.
- Intercom, doorbell, and alarm are operational.
- Hot water heater is working.
- HVAC is working.
- No plants or shrubs have been removed from the yard.
- Garage door opener and other remotes are available.
- Instruction books and warranties on appliances and fixtures are there.
- Have all the items the seller agreed to remove from the home out of the home?
- Did the seller leave “junk” behind in the basement, attic, yard or garage?
- All of the items the seller agreed to leave in the home still there? This includes window treatments, lighting fixtures, and chandeliers.
Don’t underestimate the time it can take to conduct this final inspection. Depending on the size of the home, this walk through can take several hours to complete and it’s important to make sure everything is working as expected. Rushing through the inspection can cost a buyer thousands of dollars in repairs later on.
Unfortunately, things don’t always go as planned when buying a home. If a buyer finds the seller has not lived up to their part of the agreement, there are few things a buyer can do by working with their lawyer and real estate agent to come to a satisfactory agreement.
Holding Repair Money in trust account: The first option is to have the buyer’s attorney to hold back an amount that exceeds the estimate for making repairs. This is an important point; make sure the money is sufficient to cover the costs of the repairs. As the repairs are made, the money can be removed from the trust account to pay for the work.
Reducing Price Paid: The second option is to negotiate the costs with the seller, and have those costs removed from the price of the home at closing. This is the best option to go for in most cases based on our experience.
Delaying the Closing: Finally, if uncomfortable with either of the above two options, delay the closing itself. This is especially true if seller purposefully ignored the repairs in the first place or if damage is excessive.
The final walk-through is not the time to do a home inspection, but it is indeed an opportunity to make sure that the home being conveyed to you is the home you agreed to buy. There are an endless number of scenarios that surround last-minute issues — another reason an experienced exclusive buyer agency is your best choice during a real estate transaction.