Most real estate buyers insist on a final walkthrough before closing the deal. This way, they can make sure that the property still fits their needs and that nothing has negatively changed since they last viewed the residence. Final walkthroughs often make everyone nervous, since buyers will be looking for any little detail that might either save them some money during final negotiations or might give them a chance to back out on the deal if they are getting cold feet about closing on the home. It is for these reasons that sellers must make absolutely sure that the property is in perfect form in order to finish the deal and close on the house sale.
This essay details the home walkthrough process and also provides valuable advice for both sellers and buyers to guide them successfully through this nerve-wracking time.
Walkthrough Before Closing Explained
Final buyer walkthroughs are courtesy home showings that typically occur the day prior to closing on the property. In some cases, these walkthroughs may occur several days prior to the closing event or the morning of the scheduled closing. Most buyers like to leave the final walkthrough for the last possible minute, in order to make sure that they will not get any nasty surprises upon moving into their newly purchased home after closing.
Walkthroughs generally involve getting all parties together at the home, including the seller, the buyer, the seller’s agent, the buyer’s agent and possibly the buyer’s home inspector, in order to give the property one final evaluation before the sale is finished.
Walkthroughs might be a formality, especially if the home is new, in excellent condition or if things have gone smoothly between buyer and seller up to this point of the transaction. However, they can get sticky if the home is old and needs repair, the buyers are having second thoughts, or if anything in the house or apartment has changed since the buyer last came to visit, especially after their official home inspection.
Many sales go bad after a disappointing walkthrough and some of these deals never close. Therefore, real estate agents generally are very attentive to their clients during the walkthrough and will do their best to protect the integrity of the deal.
Seller’s Tips for Walkthroughs Before Closing
Sellers should always disclose if anything negative has occurred in the home since the last visit by the buyers. Things break and people will understand this fact. As long as there is honesty in disclosure, and a proper effort made to remedy the situation, even a major change in the home might not cause the deal to fall apart. If nothing has changed, then the seller has it easy. However, they must still adhere to these tips in order to facilitate a successful walkthrough and make sure they can proceed forward to closing:
Always try to have the real estate agents talk prior to the walkthrough and learn of any buyer issues or things which may become problems. The buyer’s agent will often disclose any final concerns so that these can be addressed successfully prior to the walkthrough.
Be sure that the home is in its best condition ever at the time of the walkthrough. It should still be staged, clean and perfectly maintained if at all possible. However, this may be impossible, especially if the closing is scheduled for later that same day. Now is certainly not the time for the seller to let their guard down and consider the sale to be finished. To this end, the seller should do everything to make the home as appealing as possible, given the circumstances that may exist at the time of the final walkthrough.
Remember to set a friendly tone and be available and personable to the buyers. They might have lots of last minute questions. Make them aware of any features that the home might have that are not obvious and easily figured out themselves. This includes learning how to operate all the appliances and home infrastructure systems.
Have food and refreshments available. Keep the atmosphere light, lively and very, very friendly. It does not hurt to mention just how happy you are that these particular buyers are purchasing the home, since they are a “perfect fit”.
Buyer’s Tips for Walkthroughs Before Closing
Buyers are often very excited and nervous prior to closing on a property. If they are first time buyers, this is almost a certain conclusion. The process might be confusing and a bit frightening, so it is natural to be on-guard, yet overwhelmed with details. This is why it might be worthwhile to bring in a home inspector for one final pass during the walkthrough. This extra step can provide peace of mind and might just catch some undiscovered detail that turns out to be very important. Here is a list of tips that can help buyers during the final walkthrough before closing a real estate sale:
Make a written list of questions or considerations to discuss with the sellers. This will prevent you from forgetting anything that is vital to know before closing.
Consider bringing your inspector along for the final walkthrough, especially if you have concerns about particular potential problems in the new property.
Understand that being nervous is part of the sale process. Do not undermine all your previous efforts to own your new home by letting a simple case of nerves ruin a good deal for you.
Take the chance to ask for a full tour of property features if you have not already had the opportunity. Likewise, ask for introductions to your new neighbors to help facilitate an easy and friendly transition to your new home.
Understand that the seller might already have moved or might be moving as the walkthrough occurs. This will allow you to see more of the home, without their personal stamp, but may also make the home look less appealing than it did before. Do not allow an empty home to scare you. Once you move in, all the charm you fell in love with will be there again.
Walkthrough Before Closing Summary
A buyer walkthrough can be the perfect chance to ensure that no one gets hurt during the closing of the sale. Although this is an exciting time for both parties, it can also be stressful and make everyone quite uptight.
Real estate agents will do their best to help facilitate a successful walkthrough for both parties. They will also try to keep everyone calm, especially if something undesirable is found. Both parties are cautioned not to allow small problems to become major issues, as long as a mutually-satisfying solution can be arranged in a realistic timeframe.
If all goes well, the walkthrough will be a mere formality and the sale will close much to everyone’s relief. Best of luck in your new home!