DC HOME BUYER FINAL WALKTHROUGH

What to Look For and Why Final Walk Through is Important

Final Walkthrough is an Important Part of the DC Real Estate Process

Conduct a final walk through of the Washington DC or Northern Virginia home you’re purchasing before attending settlement. This is done to verify that the home is in ‘substantially the same condition’ as the date of contract or inspection, that everything intended to convey is still in place and that the seller has not left unwanted items behind for you to dispose of at your expense.

Scheduling a Final Walkthrough

Since the implementation of TRID on October 3 2015, a final walk through should no longer be scheduled for the morning of settlement. It is recommended that buyers conduct their final walk through four to five business days prior to the settlement date. If there is an issue, this will give the seller time to correct without causing a reset of the regulated timetable for loan disclosure and settlement.

Don’t Rush Through Your Final Walk Through

Block out the time necessary to give the property a good going-over. Open and close windows and doors, make sure appliances are in working order, run water, flush toilets, turn lights on and off. Operate the HVAC system as weather permits. Check floors and walls for new damage. You’re looking for significant changes from the condition of the home since contract or inspection, not small cosmetics, but rushing through a walkthrough could lead to an unpleasant surprise when you return with the keys. Give yourself an hour to make a complete visual inspection.

Final Walk Through is Not an Inspection

Remember, your final walk through is not a home inspection performed by a professional home inspector (this should have been accomplished during the initial phase of the contract period), however, a re-inspection can be considered a final walk-through, especially if conducted within 5 days of settlement. Home buyers should still walk the home the morning of settlement even if a rein spection is performed.
Bring It

FINAL WALK THROUGH TIPS

Bring your sales contract, addendum(s) and inspection reports for reference. You’ll also want to make notes on the appropriate sheets that you can refer to later, or complete a walk-through checklist as you proceed. Bring a camera (or cell phone cam) to document any issues.
TIP
Understand in advance which items are to be conveyed to you, and those which are not.
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Inspect the entire home thoroughly. Check the home’s exterior for any new damage or significant changes. Make sure the grounds have been cleared of any trash or debris. Check basement, crawl space, attic, garage and sheds or out-buildings.
TIP
In the interior living space, go room to room, visually inspecting and testing all components as possible.
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Test: Heating, ventilation and air conditioning system(s), alarm or other included systems, water and water-related fixtures/appliances, washer/dryer, lighting, windows, outdoor components, appliances, garage doors, gates, etc.
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Check walls, flooring and ceilings to make sure they’re in substantially the same condition as when you contracted/or as they were agreed upon to be following inspection corrections.
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Also, watch for substituted items such as door handles, appliances, or any fixture or finish that contractually should have remained, but has been substituted with another.
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It’s important to address any issues immediately. If contractually agreed-upon items are missing, debris or personal belongings have been left on the premises, if there are defects that should have been addressed by the seller and weren’t, don’t get upset. Instead, take action. There are standard ways in which to address final walk through issues, and your agent will guide you.

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Information is believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed. Subject to change without notice. Realtors are not CPAs or attorneys and are not permitted to give tax or legal advice or interpretations. Refer to a tax or legal professional for all related matters. Any information provided on this site pertaining to such issues is not intended as tax or legal advice and is provided solely for the purpose of illustration. Resources cited are believed to be accurate but are not guaranteed.
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