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The final walkthrough before closing

Whether you’re buying or selling a home, the final walkthrough is an important step to take just before the closing. For buyers, it’s one last chance to make sure the seller met all contingencies, and everything looks as it should. For sellers, preparing for the buyer’s walkthrough is an opportunity to clean and secure the house before it officially changes hands. Let’s take a closer look at the final walkthrough from both a buyer’s and a seller’s perspective.

What to look for in the final walkthrough as a buyer

Before signing the papers and getting the keys to your new home, you should do a walkthrough with your real estate agent and the seller’s agent.

If you requested any repairs as a contingency of the sale, you can confirm that the seller took care of everything properly. Even if you didn’t request any repairs, it can still make sense to take a one last look through the house to make sure nothing has changed since the last time you saw it.

Preparing for the final walkthrough as a seller: a checklist

Within 24 hours of your closing, the buyer will do a final walkthrough of the home. Some buyers are more thorough than others, testing every light switch and opening every cabinet and door, but they’re usually looking to make sure that all agreed-upon repairs were made and no issues have crept up before closing.1 
 
Remember, a happy buyer at walkthrough is less likely to find something wrong, so here are some steps you can take to prepare: 
 
1Don’t put off repairs

Take care of all agreed-upon repairs at least a week before closing. Save all related receipts and invoices and take before-and-after photos in case the buyer contests anything.2
 
2. Clean the house 
 
Leave your home the way you’d like to find it as a buyer. If you don’t have time to clean personally, hire a professional cleaning service.2
 
3. Leave manuals and warranties 
 
Gather all owner’s manuals and warranties for home appliances and leave them in one place for the new owner. Leave all receipts from repairs with the manuals.1  
 
4. Provide a vendor list 
 
Leave contact information for contractors or maintenance companies you’ve used in the past and who are familiar with your home.1 
 
5. Leave keys and remotes 
 
Put all house keys, mailbox keys, and any remotes for house systems in a kitchen drawer or location that’s easily found.2 If you’re attending the closing, bring a set of keys with you. 
 
6. Write down passcodes 
 
Compile a list of all passcodes and access information for gates, doors, locks, thermostats, doorbells, and other appliances. Leave the list with the keys and other items left behind.3 
 
7. Check for personal items
 
Search cabinets, drawers, and storage areas for anything you might have overlooked. Even if you’re sure you’ve already gone through every room, do one last check.2 
 
8. Shut water valves, turn off switches 
 
Shut off the house’s main water valve 24 hours before closing and let the buyers know so they won't call a plumber. Turn off all switches for lights and fans.1,2 
 
9. Lock up the house 
 
Close all blinds, lock all windows and doors, and leave a porch light on or set an interior light with a timer. Remember: You’re legally responsible for the home until the closing.1,2

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1. "What Every Seller Needs to Know About Closing," HouseLogic, March 9, 2022, https://www.houselogic.com/sell/how-to-sell-step-by-step/home-closing-process/. 2. Elizabeth Weintraub, "Home Closing Checklist Tips for Sellers," The Balance, January 9, 2022, https://www.thebalance.com/top-home-closing-checklist-tips-for-sellers-1799072. 3. Lori Lovely and Richard Haddad, "What to Bring at Closing: For Sellers, the List Is Short and Sweet," June 20, 2023, HomeLight, https://www.homelight.com/blog/what-to-bring-at-closing.

This information is general in nature and provided for educational purposes only.

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