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Foregoing Final Inspection Will Leave You Blind-sided!

Aug 17, 2007
The final walk-through inspection is a very important part of the Home Buying Process that many buyers forego, most often because they are pressed for time. Don't skip this step!

This walk-through is usually conducted within five days to a few hours of closing. It's not to negotiate any new contract changes but simply to make sure that the agreed-on repairs and condition of the property is in order.

Homes that sit vacant for any length of time could have a variety of things happen since you last were in the home. Many people such as home inspectors, exterminators, plumbers, electricians, other Real Estate Agents, or even other Home Buyers may have been in the home.

Sometimes drains are plugged during extermination and could have been left that way with a dripping faucet, and you may find that your bathroom or kitchen has flooded. Lights, heat, or A/C might have been left on, door and windows open, toilets running, etc.

Now is moment where you make the decision to take the steps necessary that may save you thousands of dollars and hours of headaches within the first couple of months of living in your new home. This time is undoubtedly the most chaotic, however, take the time to create a checklist for your final walk through to ensure that nothing has been missed. Some items on your list may include the following:
* Make sure all debris and garbage is removed from the property
* Check the working condition of all appliances (over, stove, refrigerator, garbage disposal, microwave, washer/dryer, etc.)
* Check bathrooms (ventilation fan, hot/cold water, faucets)
* Flush toilets to make sure all plumbing is in tact
* Check all light fixtures (go through every room turning them on and off)
* Check for any holes or cracks in walls or ceilings
* Check that garage door openers work
* Check heating and air conditioning
* Check that all doors and windows are closed and locked, including any out-buildings. You never know what might have taken up residence in a garage or storage building.
* Check that all agreed-on repairs have been dealt with

If the home is still occupied right up to closing, do a walk through with your Real Estate Agent & the Seller. The Seller can inform you on any quirks about appliances, electricity, plumbing, the neighbor's dog, etc. Ask the Seller for a forwarding address in case you need to contact them about the property for some reason in the future.
About the Author
Dirk Zeller is an Agent, an Investor, and the President & CEO of Real Estate Champions. His company trains more than 250,000 Agents worldwide each year.
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