The Final Walkthrough - Just Before Closing on Your Massachusetts Home

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The Final Walkthrough - Just Before Closing on Your Massachusetts Home

With end of the year closings looming, now is a good time to review the steps necessary for a final walk-through of your Massachusetts home.

You are ready to close on your new home.  Your mortgage commitment is in place.  The appraisal has been done. The closing attorney has set the date and time for you to come in to sign all of the papers. There is just one more crucial step - the final walk-through of the property you are buying.

What actually happens at a final walk-through? 

  • Any repairs that were specified in the purchase and sale agreement should have been done. You need to go through the list and inspect each repair. For major repairs that have done by professionals, you should have been provided with a paid invoice from the seller.
  • You will need to check on the property that is included in the sale. If the agreement states that the refrigerator, washer, dryer, window treatments or any other items are to be left, this is the time to make sure they are all still there. 
  • Sometimes an accident can happen during the seller's move-out.  Did the movers nick the walls or stain the rugs?  This needs to be accounted for. 
  • Walk through every room, open all of the closets, cabinets and draws.
  • Run the stove, dishwasher and any other appliance that is part of the transaction.
  • Turn on the faucets, flush the toilets and check the shower. 
  • Switch on all of the light switches.
  • Check the heating system and the air conditioning.  Everything should be working. 
  • During the walk-through you may sometimes see things that were not visible when furniture and carpeting were in the home. I have often seen scratches or holes that were previously covered with area rugs.
  • Look in the attic, the basement and all storage places to be sure that the owners have cleaned them out and taken their possessions with them.
  • Don't forget to check the garage and test the garage door openers to make sure that they are still functioning.

What if something goes wrong at the time of the final walk-through of your Massachusetts Home?

It is entirely possible that the sellers' mover has smashed a hole in the wall or there may be a stain on the floor that was not there when you last saw the home. 

The seller needs to reimburse you for any problems that should arise.  Cash can be put aside in escrow until said repairs are made or you can settle for a credit in an amount deemed appropriate.  If mishaps occur, you need to be compensated. 

When you are finally satisfied that everything has been accounted for in your new home - it's time to move on to a successful closing.


Copyright 2010 "The Final Walkthrough - Just Before Closing on Massachusetts Your Home"

 Written by 

Claudette Millette, Broker, Owner, The Buyers' Counsel - (508) 881-6230

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Comments (25)

Chris M.T. Bodden
Keller Williams Realty - Kapolei, HI

This information is great.  Thank you.

Dec 14, 2010 08:13 PM
Claudette Millette
The Buyers' Counsel - Ashland, MA
Buyer, Broker - Metrowest Mass

Hi, Craig:

I consider the final walk-through to be a crucial step and have often discovered issues that need to be resolved.


I often have the home inspector come back to do a reinspection if there are repairs that needed to be made.


Thank you.

Dec 14, 2010 10:25 PM
Gina Nugent
Donohue RE - Palm Beach, FL
Real Estate Agent - Palm Beach, FL

Claudette: I copied the list and will use it at every closing so nothing gets forgotten....especially in larger homes, certain things can be overseen and this list is very helpful to avoid that ....thank you and happy holidays!

Dec 14, 2010 10:46 PM
Claudette Millette
The Buyers' Counsel - Ashland, MA
Buyer, Broker - Metrowest Mass


That's okay. You can copy and use it for your business.  But if you copy and publish it, please give me full credit.

Thanks so much for reading.


Dec 14, 2010 11:03 PM
Cindy Edwards
RE/MAX Checkmate - Johnson City, TN
CRS, GRI, PMN - Northeast Tennessee - 423-677-6677

Walk through is key.  I've experienced many of houses falling apart at the day of closing.  Sometimes seller's feel they don't have to mow the yard anymore!  House needs to be maintained!

Dec 14, 2010 11:37 PM
Russell Lewis
Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate - Austin, TX

Great points here for buyers anywhere prior to closing! Sounds like you are staying busy, remember to have a great holiday too!

Dec 15, 2010 12:04 AM
Patricia Aulson
Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes

All good points here for sure .... Thanks for getting this out to us today.  I enjoyed the read and have bookmarked it for the future.


Happy Holidays!

Patricia/Seacoast NH & ME

Dec 15, 2010 12:14 AM
Aaron Seekford
Arlington Realty, Inc. - Arlington, VA
Ranked Top 1% Nationwide 703-836-6116

Awesome tips, Claudette. This is a fool-proof checklist to make sure closing goes smoothly!

Dec 15, 2010 12:28 AM
Anna Tolstoy
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Natick, MA

Wonderful list, Claudette! I also think, this list is a great hand out piece for first time buyers early in the home search process, to assure buyers, that there is a thought through plan for every step. 

Dec 15, 2010 01:16 AM
Claudette Millette
The Buyers' Counsel - Ashland, MA
Buyer, Broker - Metrowest Mass


I had a situation where the seller no longer felt it was necessary to clean. That was at a home inspection.  It completely turned my buyer off and that was the end of it.


Busy enough... Thanks so much.


Happy Holidays to you.


Something always seems to come up. We just need to catch it in time.  That's why when there are a number of repairs to be made I actually like to do two walk-throughs.


Actually, that's not a bad idea.


Dec 15, 2010 01:56 AM
Dawn Maloney
RE/MAX Trinity Northeast Ohio Real Estate Specialist - Hudson, OH
330-990-4236 Hudson & Northeastern Ohio

Claudette, this is great - I reblogged because this is a clear, easy to understand list of why a buyer needs a walkthrough. Thanks!

Dec 15, 2010 02:31 AM
Claudette Millette
The Buyers' Counsel - Ashland, MA
Buyer, Broker - Metrowest Mass


Great!  Thanks for the reblog.


Dec 15, 2010 02:51 AM
Christine Smith
Buyers Brokers Only LLC - - Canton, MA
Exclusive Buyer Agent & Attorney, Canton, MA
Claudette, this is a very thorough & complete checklist.
Dec 15, 2010 02:59 AM
Claudette Millette
The Buyers' Counsel - Ashland, MA
Buyer, Broker - Metrowest Mass


Thank you. I appreciate your comment.


Dec 15, 2010 03:32 AM
Jennifer Fivelsdal
JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571 - Rhinebeck, NY
Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection

Claudette this is a vital step in the transaction process. Make sure to look under any rug left behind I learn this the hard way.  It was my listing and the live room had beautiful hardwood newly installed.  In the center of the room was a lovely rug so who would have guessed there were a few pieces of hardwood missing, the buyer told me this at closing I almost passed out.  Fortunately the buyer was a really nice person and did not make an issue of it.

The house might be broom swept but it might be all in the attic, yes I ran into this.

Dec 15, 2010 04:52 AM
Claudette Millette
The Buyers' Counsel - Ashland, MA
Buyer, Broker - Metrowest Mass


Yikes - that was a hard lesson. A rug is usually hiding scratches or stains, but a missing part of the floor?

Right you are about checking the attic.  You never know what might be up there.


Dec 15, 2010 04:58 AM
Dan Derito
Success! Real Estate - Brockton, MA

Thanks for the heads up, Claudette.  It's surprising how many times a buyer will be running late for the closing and choose to opt out of the final walkthrough.

Dec 15, 2010 06:58 AM
Claudette Millette
The Buyers' Counsel - Ashland, MA
Buyer, Broker - Metrowest Mass


Not my buyers - I would never let them skip the final walk-through. For their sake, and mine.


Dec 15, 2010 08:21 AM


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