Preparing for Your Final Walk-Through
It’s important that home buyers conduct a pre-settlement walk-through prior to settlement, checking each of their prospective home’s systems. Individuals will want to review the overall condition of the home just prior to taking ownership and confirm that systems that were operating properly during the home inspection are still in working condition.
It’s also important to take this time to check out any items that were inaccessible or not operating at the time of the inspection. This may include taking a look in a, now empty, basement, attic, or closet, testing the function of air-conditioning or heat, or even verifying the function of water and or other utilities if they were off at the time of the inspection.
Here are some important things to consider for your Final Walk-Through.
If the house was occupied at the time of your inspection, personal belongings, furniture, etc., may have obscured items/areas and made them inaccessible for inspection. Normally these belongings are removed prior to the pre-settlement walk-through and you will have an excellent opportunity to view all of the surfaces and systems at that time. If an item was obscured during your inspection and you feel that it may be defective after you have had an opportunity to view it during your pre-settlement walk-through, you should discuss it with your title company or attorney right away.
While a vacant house is easier to inspect visually than an occupied one, there are disadvantages. This is particularly true if the house has been vacant for a long time. Seals and bearings of mechanical systems may have dried out and caused accelerated deterioration or failure. Further, possible leaks may not have been detected during your inspection because lack of use had prevented accumulation of sufficient water to create a stain or other observable evidence.
You should ensure that the utilities will be turned on prior to your pre-settlement walk-through inspection and that you will have an opportunity to check all of the systems. If the utilities were off at the time of your inspection, contact your inspector to ascertain the steps/checks you should perform to satisfy yourself that any un-inspected systems are working properly prior to settlement.
If a declaration has been made by the sellers or agents concerning the age of any item, condition, repair, service contract, or warranty, those statements should be placed in writing. A request should be made for the seller to provide you with all instruction books, operator's manuals, warranties, and other documents related to the various systems and appliances within the property. This paperwork will be extremely useful to you.
Don't forget to bring along U.S. Inspect’s complementary "Walk-through Checklist." Using our checklist can provide practical, useful information for buyers at the time of closing. Also, find it in our Agent Resource Center (usinspect.com/ARC) under web resources for preparing for the inspection.