Why do a Real Estate “walk thru” prior to closing?

why do a walk thru prior to closing?In Florida we call settlement of escrow “closings”.


“Closings” is where the purchase money is transferred and the keys to your new home purchase are given. Seems simple enough, but in some cases this is where problems arise.


Here are some things that a home buyer may not know:


There should be a “walk thru” just prior to closing.


Preferable on the day of closing, the agent and/or buyer will do a final walk thru of the property.  This is to check and make sure that the property is being conveyed in the same condition that the home buyer bought it in.  It is possible that deficiencies occurred between the time of contract and the closing date and you cannot rely on what the seller says.


Seller needs to have all the utilities on for the final walk thru just like they need to be on for the home inspection.


During the walk thru the agent should check to make sure that the major things are still working.  Like the A/C, the appliances, the lights, the showers, garbage disposal, electric fixtures etc. Look for signs of  new visible roof leaks.  The agent needs to verify that everything that was to stay with the property is all there.


At “closing” the seller needs to be out of the home with all of their belongings.


The junk or garbage also needs to be removed. The property should be left in clean broom swept condition and all the keys and garage remotes and other gadgets need to be given to the home buyer.


Here are some issues that have happened:


  • Seller takes some of the appliances that were to stay.
  • Seller replaces some nice light fixtures with cheap junk.
  • Seller takes the nice ceiling fans and puts a plate over the hole.  (Thinking no one will notice)
  • Seller was to fix the leaking water heater and instead stuffed towels inside the unit.
  • Seller has no carpet under their water bed…but the rest of the bedroom had nice carpet. (Should have been disclosed)


I could write a longer list, because we have seen it all.


The point is that some agents will not bother doing a walk thru, but we always do.  Some agents will also not test anything, because they do not want to raise any issues prior to closing.  Finding last minute issues is why a good buyers agent needs to do a walk thru.  If our buyer client are not in town to come along, we still do the walk thru, even without them.


We have a different attitude about a “walk thru”.


The home buyer sees a home and likes it, so they make an offer based on what they see in the home. The contract stipulates what is to stay. If at closing the seller has decided to strip some of the value of the property, that is not what the buyer bargained for. During a walk thru, if what was removed or replaced is not listed in the contract as an “exclusion” than the seller simply cannot do that.  It’s that simple.


It’s time to speak up and negotiate a settlement.


Both the buyer and seller just need to follow what the contract states.  If items are to stay, than they need to be there for the walk thru.  If they are missing, the seller needs to credit the buyer for the value. If the seller replaced something with lesser value, the home buyer needs to be made whole.


If the contract does not include the car parts in the yard, than the seller needs to remove it.  Junk and garbage is personal property and not part of the home sale.  If broken furniture is left at the house for the walk thru, the seller needs to give adequate monies to the buyer to have it removed.


Sellers promise of finishing the job after closing is not adequate unless some of the sellers funds are held back at closing.  After closing, the terms of the contract are null and void so promises mean nothing.  Money held back is a guarantee.


As an Exclusive Buyer Agency office that only represents the home buyer, we are experienced at solving these problems with your best interest in mind.  For expert buyer representation call us.  407-539-1053.

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