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Final Walk-through Rights | monrovia homes for sale - monrovia real estate
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Final Walk-through Rights

By Dian Hymer

Most home purchase contracts include a clause that gives the buyer the right to complete a walk-through inspection before closing. Some buyers don’t feel the need for a final walk-through. But if you’ve ever known a buyer who moved into a home that was left in a mess, you’ll want to exercise your right to do it.

The ideal time to do a final walk-through inspection is during the week before closing. The main purpose of the inspection is to verify that the property is in substantially the same condition as it was when you agreed to purchase it. Home purchase contracts usually require the seller to maintain the property until they turn it over to you. The seller shouldn’t let the property run down as soon as the “Sold” sign goes up.

A walk-through also allows the buyer the opportunity to confirm that any work the seller agreed to do before closing has been done or is in the process of being completed. If the seller agreed to leave certain appliances, the buyers can confirm that they haven’t been moved out.

Unless the property is vacant at the time of the walk-through, it’s impossible to know how the property will look after the seller moves out. Most purchase contracts require that the sellers removed debris and all their personal property, except for items that are specifically included in the sale. Cleanliness standards vary. All that is usually required is that the property be broom-swept when the seller delivers possession to the buyer. It’s a good idea to ask the sellers if they are planning to have the property professionally cleaned after they move. If not, you may want to have this done before you move in.

A walk-through inspection can be used as a fact-finding mission, particularly if you can arrange for the sellers to be at the property when you come through. Sellers are a great source of information about the property. Take a note pad with you. It may be useful to compile a list of questions before the meeting. Ask the sellers if there are any idiosyncrasies of the property that you should know about, such as the location of light switches or how to operate an alarm or irrigation system. Also find out if there are routine home maintenance tasks that you should be aware of. For example, there may be a gutter that clogs after heavy rains or a sewer pipe that needs to be periodically cleared. Find out if the sellers can recommend contractors who have worked on the house in the past. It isn’t easy to find good contractors, so recommendations will come in handy. Also, there may be a benefit to using contractors who already know the property.

Some buyers find it useful to sketch the floor plan, or room layout, to help with furniture placement. Your move will go more quickly if you know in advance where you want furniture placed.

Coordinate the transfer of utilities with the sellers so that nothing is shut off. This may save you the cost of new installation fees. And you may avoid the inconvenience of having to meet utility providers at the property in order to start services.

Finally, be sure to ask the sellers where they plan to leave instruction manuals, extra house keys and automatic garage door openers. The last thing you need as you move into your new home is a seller who took the garage door opener with them!

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