Sometimes I think we forget the importance of walk thru's in our business. We know that it is a formality to do one before closing escrow, but do we do them just because it is on our checklist, or do we actually take our repair list and go through the house to make sure the repairs were made?
Most of the time, buyers are excited about getting their keys and making all of the arrangements with the movers and turning utilities on, but do we really do a thorough job at the walk thru? The most important thing to keep in mind is that we are not looking for new problems, but we do need to make sure that the main items work (a/c, heater, plumbing etc) and that nothing is considerably different than when the offer was accepted. Walking through the house and turning on the water, flushing the toilets, turning the a/c on to see if it is blowing cool air, opening and closing the garage door are all tasks that should be done at a walk through to make sure the buyers are moving into a livable house.
If repairs were part of the negotiations, then we need to check to make sure they were completed. There are a few ways that the buyer's can be sure that the repairs were made. First, they can get copies of the receipts that show the repairs were made by a licensed contractor. Secondly, if the repairs are harder to notice than just by looking at them, then they can have their inspector come back to the house and re-inspect to make sure the repairs were, in fact done.
It is also important to make sure that the items that are supposed to stay with the house have remained inside for example refrigerator, washer, dryer etc.
I think walk thru's are more important in today's market then in the past because of all of the the vacant foreclosed homes. Vandalism has become very prevalent. It is a smart move to swing by the house one last time just a few hours before recordation to make sure there have been no break ins and the house is still in one piece with nothing missing or broken.