Tips for Home Buyers in Encinitas: The Walk–Through

Here are some helpful tips when you go on the walk-through, a part of the home buying process when you and your buyer’s agent explore your home-to-be and check to make sure it is in the condition specified in your contract.

When to Schedule Your Walk-Through

Most often the walk-through should take place within 24 hours of your closing so that you can look over the property at the last possible moment. As soon as you sign the settlement documents, any damage becomes your responsibility, even if it occurred before you officially owned the property.

If your contract states that the seller is to make repairs, it is best to schedule two walk-throughs. The first one should take place roughly a week or so before the settlement date so that you can review the requested repairs. This way if you’re not satisfied or the seller has not provided requested receipts and contact information for the contractors that are to make the repairs, you have time to negotiate a solution to the problem so that your settlement won’t be delayed. The second walk-through should be just before the closing.

What to Expect on Your Walk-Through

Buyers can be disappointed when they see the condition of the property after the sellers have vacated the home. Most contracts state that the property needs to be “broom clean” and people have different standards for what is considered clean, but regardless of the cleanliness of the home, there are certain steps to take during the walk-through:

  • Bring home inspection report, copy of your contract, and the seller’s property disclosure form so you can check specific flagged items.
  • Check for items that the sellers agreed in the contract, such as window treatments or fireplace tools. These items have to be identified in writing, not just a verbal agreement.
  • Check for items the sellers left behind that you do not want. Check your contract to see if the additional items were mentioned, if not, it is the seller’s responsibility, not yours, to remove them.
  • Test all appliances to make sure they work.
  • Turn on the heat and air conditioning for a few minutes to see if they are in working order.
  • Bring an electrical tester from a hardware store to make sure all of the outlets work.

What to Do if You Find a Problem

If you find that the sellers have not followed through on the contract promises or there is a new issue that you want the sellers to address, consider whether the problem is worth disrupting your settlement. For example, it is easy to take care of a light bulb that’s burned out in the refrigerator. However, if you are uncertain of the extent of the problem, such as discovering a leak under a bathroom sink, you and your buyer’s agent should contact the seller’s agent and negotiate a solution to the problem.

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By Linda Moore

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