The final walk through: sounds rather ominous, doesn’t it? In all honesty, it’s probably high on the list of the most important aspects of buying a house in Madison. After all, this is your last chance to view the home before it belongs to you, warts and all.
I’ve noticed that far too many of our clients try to rush through the process. Sure, I get that they’re excited – closing is typically a day or two away. So, I try to slow them down and explain to them just how important the final walk through is.
What is it?
This is your last chance to ensure that the home is in as-agreed on condition. Did the seller replace the carpet as promised? Did he make the required repairs? Did he ding the walls as he was moving out? Did he take items that were supposed to be included in the sale?
Back when foreclosures were common I worked with a buyer who fell in love with a foreclosed home. Surprisingly it was in good condition and the home inspection attested to that. When it came time for the final walk through, on the day before closing, my client raced through the home with an eye more toward furniture placement than due diligence.
I, on the other hand, immediately noticed several shocking problems. She’d already returned to the car, apparently satisfied that all was well, when I called her back. Not only were the almost-new stainless steel appliances missing – refrigerator, dishwasher and stove – but upon closer inspection, the garbage disposer was missing as well. And she hadn’t even noticed.
Had I not been with her on this tour she would’ve gone to closing not knowing that she was going to have to spend thousands of dollars on new appliances before the home was livable. Since we caught the problem, however, closing was delayed until the sellers replaced every missing item.
The final walk through of your new Madison home isn’t the time to find new items of concern, but to ensure that what was agreed to in the contract has occurred and that no new damage to the home has happened since you agreed to purchase it.
This is your last chance, so slow down, take your time and inspect every square inch of the home. It’s better to close late than to have no recourse or face lengthy litigation against the seller.