The best-laid plans of mice and men often lie in ruin because the men didn't have the right checklist. The story is no different when it comes to real estate closings. Many well-intentioned homebuyers have made mistakes that have cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars because there was an undotted "i" or an uncrossed "t" that they forgot to double check.
To help you get out your fine-toothed comb before your real estate closing, make sure you use the following checklist on the day of your walkthrough:
- Put the right things in your bag: You'll want to bring with you a notepad, a camera, an inspection summary and a contract. Also, don't forget your real estate agent, your cellphone and a charger!
- Double-check the paperwork: You'll want to make sure that the issues needing repair listed on your inspection summary have been fixed. Also, be sure that you have the receipts for the work and any related warranties.
- Check with your agent: Ask your real estate agent to look over the sales agreements to ensure that they're appropriately finalized. Also, be sure that construction debris and garbage have all been taken out of the property, and that no new damage has appeared.
- Make sure the house is secure: Check the locks on all doors and windows to make sure that the house is completely secure.
- Check the kitchen and bathrooms: Make sure the faucets and sinks work without leaking in the bathrooms and kitchen, and that these areas are free of mold and other damage.
- Test all the appliances: If the home comes with a washer, dryer, dishwasher, heater or air conditioner, check all of these items.
- Check the electricity: Make sure all outlets work by plugging your phone charger into them. Also, turn on and off the circuit breaker and check all lights. Turn them on and off to ensuring that the light sockets work.
- Look for pests and check the landscape: Look around the outside of the home. Check for signs of pests, termites and make sure no shrubs have suddenly disappeared from the landscaping.
Use your common sense and leave no stone unturned when doing a final walkthrough on your real estate property. Remember: If there is a problem during the walkthrough, you may have the legal right to back out of the deal, or request that the issue be resolved before closing.
Source: Trulia, "The Final Walk-Through Checklist," accessed Nov. 24, 2017