How to Prepare For A Final Walkthrough When Buying a New Home

How to Prepare For A Final Walkthrough When Buying a New Home


While home inspections help avoid buying a home with defects, a final walkthrough allows you to confirm the home is in the same condition as it was when you signed the contract. Here’s how to prepare for your final walkthrough so nothing is missed.

Don’t Pass on Your Walkthrough

Both your real estate attorney and agent will agree home buyers should never pass on the opportunity to complete your final walkthrough. No matter how busy you get or how much you trust the sellers, issues can come up. If you waive your right to your walkthrough, you could end up finding some unwelcome surprises when you move in.  

Potential Water Damage

Even after the sellers vacate the home, they could unknowingly cause leaks. If no one is living there, you could discover very common occurrences such as water damage and flooding. A lot can happen once the sellers move out including:


  • Plugged shower drains and sinks with slow drips that can eventually overflow
  • Taps and shower handles not turned off properly
  • Old plumbing springing leaks
  • Frozen, burst pipes because the heating is turned off
  • And more!


Since the house can sit empty for over a month, all risks of water damage should be checked thoroughly for signs of leaks.

Your Final Walkthrough Checklist

Your final walkthrough checklist looks for potential issues, and we recommend the following:


  • Turn all light switches on and off
  • Run water
  • Check under sinks for leaks
  • Turn on appliances using all settings
  • Inspect garage doors and remote openers
  • Open and close all doors
  • Flush the toilets
  • Turn on the shower and inspect the bath and shower stalls
  • Inspect ceilings, wall, and floors
  • Run the garbage disposal
  • Turn the exhaust fans on and off
  • Test the heating and air conditioning
  • Open and close windows and check the locks
  • Check everything the seller agreed to repair
  • If the sellers have moved, make sure they didn’t leave debris in or outside the home


Homebuyers who take their time and are meticulous, are far more likely to spot issues than those who rush the process.  

Common Final Walkthrough Mistakes

Buying a home is exciting and the prospect of finally moving in can interfere with your focus. Be sure you stick to your checklist and don’t get caught up in other matters. It can be tempting to get sidetracked trying to come up with a plan for laying out your furniture or taking measurements for your new TV. However, the focus is your list, and everything else can wait. Don’t allow yourself to get distracted from the task at hand. It’s easy to start chatting and lose your concentration!

Why a Final Walkthrough is Important

Each item on your checklist represents common potential issues. Anything that fails to comply with the contract can add costs to the purchase of your home. Your walkthrough helps ensure you don’t end up with problems you could end up paying for yourself or suing to resolve.

Your real estate agent and attorney can help you navigate a thorough, successful final walkthrough and avoid these issues!


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