Sellers: What Can Go Wrong at a Final Walk Through?

If you’re selling your Davie real estate, you probably know that the buyer will typically do a final walk through of your house right before closing. But, you’re not worried. You’ve done everything right throughout the process of selling your home – what can go wrong at a final walk through? Ah, you’d be surprised.

What the Buyer is Looking for During a Final Walk Through

The purpose for the final walk through is to give the buyer a chance to ensure that the house is in the same condition as it was the last time they saw it, and to make sure that anything you and the buyer agreed to has been honored.

Think of it from the buyer’s point of view. Between the time you both signed the sales contract until the day of closing, the buyer will feel a slight tickle in their gut. They now have a bigger stake in the house than you do. You’re a lame duck and for all the buyer knows, you may not show the same level of care as when you owned the home.

So, what can go wrong during a walk through? Keep in mind that buying and selling a home often brings up a lot of emotion. A lot of money is involved and people on each side of the transaction have their own reasons for feeling tense. You’re both hoping the closing goes smoothly. You’re trying to get everything packed and in a truck. The buyers are doing their own packing, and we all know how stressful moving can be.

What Sellers Can Do to Make the Final Walk Through a Breeze

It’s really up to you to make the final walk through a non-event. Regardless of how the buyer is feeling, you can help them by eliminating anything that would cause tension.

Clean before the final walk throughClean the House

Sure, you’ve got a lot of things to do, but don’t leave a mess. For example, you’ll probably find a host of random items that have taken refuge under your washer and dryer. You need to sweep or vacuum where those appliances have been living. You don’t need to go to extremes, just think about when you were renting, and clean your home as if you wanted to be sure to get your security deposit back.

Take All of Your Personal Items

Take everything you own that isn’t permanently installed, unless you have specific agreements with the buyer. It’s very important that you take any trash, empty packing boxes, and even things you don’t want. Can’t figure out what to do with the mop that doesn’t fit in a box? Throw it in the moving truck or your car. Don’t leave anything for the buyer to worry about.

Keep Your Word

The Sales Contract: You may have made agreements with the buyer to leave or remove things as part of the contract. Make sure you honor those agreements.

By default, real estate law says that anything that is permanently affixed to the structure of a house is part of the sale. That includes lighting fixtures, door handles, window blinds, and so on. Don’t kid yourself that if you take the dining room chandelier that you forgot to exclude in the contract, the buyer won’t notice.

On the other hand, if the contract indicates that things need to be removed, you need to do that, too. Even if you’re getting a new washer and dryer for your new home, if the contract says that you’ll remove the existing washer and dryer, you need to honor that agreement.

The Inspection: If you agreed to make repairs as part of the inspection process, make sure those repairs are complete before the final walk through. Your buyer will be specifically looking for any of those items that you haven’t completed. It’s always a good idea to keep the receipts for labor or materials needed to make those repairs and give them to the buyer.

Final Walk ThroughDon’t Turn Off the Utilities

You’ll specifically need the utilities on for the final walk through. The buyer will want to test the lights, run water in the sink, etc.

The buyer should arrange to transfer the utilities into their name. You need to do the same thing whether you’re moving to a new house, or a rental. The worst thing you can do is turn off the utilities and leave the buyer with no lights. If you or your buyer aren’t sure how to make the switch without an interruption in service, you can refer to a set of easy instructions.

To protect yourself, it’s a good idea to check with your existing utility companies right before the close to make sure the buyer has made the required arrangements. This is especially important if you’ll have different utility providers at your new residence. You don’t want to be billed for any time after the closing.

It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over

The great Yogi Berra immortalized those words, and they certainly apply to a house sale. If you can’t deliver your house in good condition on time, the buyer could back out of the deal. It’s rare, but it does happen.

Most of the time cooler heads prevail and your real estate agent can help you by negotiating with the buyer and their agent to remedy anything that comes up at the last minute. For example, let’s say that your movers put a deep scratch in the hardwood floor and you haven’t had time to fix it. In most cases, you’ll be able to reach an agreement on how to resolve that issue.

If you want to hire a Broward County real estate agent, please consider the Teri Arbogast Real Estate Team. Take a look at our Google reviews, and you’ll see that our clients have lots of good things to say. We’re very proud of our five-star ratings on Google, Zillow, and other real estate review websites. We’d love to make you our next successful client!  Call us at 954-242-8030 or send an email today.



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