The Final Walk Through
So you've bought a house. The paperwork is signed and in order, and all that remains is your final walk through. Wait! Your job isn't over.
The final walk through can be a crucial step in the home-buying process. While it's true that home inspections and all other negotiations should be taken care of well before this time comes, the final walk through is by no means a free day. There are a few things that you as the buyer must be aware of during this final step in the process. Remember, the condition of your future home is on the line.
The final walk through on a home should always occur after the sellers have moved out, but before you go to the final closing and receive the deed. This allows some time for any loose ends to be cleared up, and it also means that with the original owners' possessions out of the home, you'll be able to see things as they really are. Keep in mind that at this point in time, you have already signed the contract to purchase the home. Now is the time to verify that everything on the physical premises is as it was stated on the contract at the time you agreed to purchase. Was anything damaged as the owners moved out? Did they leave all of the appliances they agreed to leave, and are they in the same working order as they were when you signed? Feel free to actually walk around and inspect the house at this point. It is your moment to point out any discrepancies and avoid possible major headaches later.
If you do find anything amiss, the final walk through gives you the chance to settle matters with the sellers and negotiate costs of repair or replacement on anything that has changed since the contract was signed. In most cases, you will be allowed to withhold the amount required for repairs from the amount you have agreed upon for payment. This is a lot like a security deposit in an apartment: The sellers are responsible for keeping the condition of the house as it was on the contract sign date, and any repairs are their financial responsibility if they wish to uphold the contract.
If for any reason repairs needed are serious, or if the condition of anything in the house is seriously altered, it is possible to put off closing the sale until the required repairs are made. You as the buyer have the right to have the house in the exact condition it was in when you agreed to make the purchase.
The final walk through is extremely important because once the deed changes hands and the process is complete, anything you did not take note of is no longer the seller's responsibility. So be vigilant, bring an expert if you have to, and ask plenty of questions. After all, your future home is worth a second look.
About the Author: Kirsten Hawkins is a real estate expert from Nashville, TN. Visit http://www.king-of-real-estate.com/ for more information on real estate, mortgages, and finding the house of your dream.