There are many steps to follow when purchasing a new home. One you should never skip is your final walkthrough. If you do skip this step, you might unwittingly take on large financial burdens that you had not planned for.
“It allows the buyer and their agent to check the property for any new signs of damage, inspect appliances and systems, and ensure that the home is reasonably clean and in good condition,” says Baruch Silvermann, CEO and founder of The Smart Investor, a free online academy for investors, and a real estate investor himself.
It is a good idea to always take your Realtor to the walkthrough. If there is a problem your agent can make a huge impact when addressing the problem. Take your phone to take pictures, videos and notes. Here are some additional tips you should follow during your final walkthrough.
Check the electrical system. If one switch or outlet does not work, that could be a sign of a bigger problem with the wiring. Go through your home and check the security system, doorbell and garage door as well as the outlets and light switches.
Run the AC/Heating. This should be one of the first things to check in the home. The HVAC is a very important unit and one of the most vital systems in the home.
“The big problem with heating systems is that part of the unit could be outside – the compressor, coil, electrical components, and fan – making it difficult to find the fault,” says Silvermann. “Other common problems can be related to lack of gas, corrosion, or a faulty compressor.”
Look for wet spots. Leaks can cause things such as mold and rotten wood. The repercussions can be termites and even worse foundation issues which can be expensive repairs.
“Visually look around for wet areas on the ceiling or discoloration from leaks by windows,” says Jeff Lichtenstein, owner of Echo Fine Properties in Florida.
Run anything mechanical. Go through and flush all the toilets, run the dishwasher, washing machine, dryer and all the fans (including ceiling fans and exhaust fans). It would be a disappointment to move into your home and then find out that the dishwasher is not working after you have closed.
Inspect the bathrooms. According to Remodeling Magazine, bathroom remodels retain their value at resale. It is important to check the toilets to make sure they are not running, and turn on all the faucets to make sure they work correctly.
“Check that bathrooms are free of water damage, standing water, and mold by the shower, sink, and base of the toilet,” says Silvermann, who says mold can develop within days, so it’s worth taking a close look after the inspection.
Take a look around outside. Make sure all the exterior doors and windows are properly sealed.
“Any small leak can cause the heating and air conditioning system to operate at higher power and raise the electricity bill,” says Silvermann. “And check wood and concrete around the exterior of the home for cracks and water damage.”
Following these six tips can help with the walkthrough process. Make sure to take give a copy of your inspection to the seller so the items will be corrected before closing.
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