The Final Walkthrough – When, Why and How It’s Done

Reblogger Barbara Todaro
Managing Real Estate Broker with RE/MAX Executive Realty 104763

These are the reasons to never eliminate a final walk matter how confident you might be about the homeowner or the builder!  Great blog post by Barbara Altieri....

Original content by Barbara Altieri RES.0781237

Buyers - What You Should Look For on the Walk ThroughAfter all the houses you looked at and all the steps you had to take to finally get to closing day on your new home, there's one last thing homebuyers must do....


The final walkthrough.  


When exactly should you do it?


Why are you doing it?




How should you do it?




I always do the walkthrough with my clients on the day of closing. Anything can happen from one day to the next.  What if you did the walkthrough the day before and then it rained hard non-stop over the next 24 hours, you closed and THEN found, as a new homeowner, there was significant water seepage in the basement?  Nope… always best to walk through as close to closing as possible.



The seller should have already vacated the premises.  Why?  Well if not, you cannot be sure that personal items in the house will be left behind for you to deal with.  You also want to make sure everything you expect to be in the house, per the contract, is there and has not been removed.  For example, if the contract stated the washer and dryer are included, then they must be there.




So why are you doing this again?  You had the property inspected by a home inspector. You possibly asked for some repairs which may already have been verified by you and your agent. So why are you checking again?



The main purpose of the final walkthrough is to ensure the property is in the condition you expect it to be, with any negotiated repairs completed, and nothing has changed (except for normal wear and tear) since the contract was made.




Remember Buyers … This is not the home inspection.  This is not a time to make out a punch list of things you think need to be fixed.  That ship has sailed.  IF you find something not as expected per contract or repair agreement then report this to the listing agent/attorney.  It might be possible to work it out before closing and to the satisfaction of the buyers.  Otherwise, the attorneys may hold money in escrow for the estimated expense.




Just how should a walkthrough be done? What do you do?


Here are basic guidelines I follow on the walkthrough, where applicable:


  • Using a copy of the contract, check to be sure all items listed are in place (i.e., appliances, lighting fixtures, window treatments, etc.)

  • Turn all lights on and off - interior and exterior

  • Test all appliances

  • Run exhaust fans in kitchen and baths

  • Run garbage disposal

  • Run ceiling fans

  • Test heating and air conditioning (weather permitting)

  • Run water in sinks and bath and look for leaks

  • Open and close all doors and windows

  • Flush toilets

  • Inspect ceilings, wall and floors

  • Check garage door openers

  • Check basement and attic for items left behind and water seepage/leaking

  • Make sure all owner's personal belongings are removed from the property except any agreed to be left.



Here are three real life examples from my experience off the top of my head on the importance of a walkthrough …


  1. After running the water and flushing the toilets, we found a main floor bath had a significant leak and was creating a pool of water in the basement.   

  2. Sellers left a significant amount of ‘things’ in the basement and garage for the buyers. none of which the buyers agreed to.  Some of things left were paint cans, broken shelving, old gas grill, gas propane tank, huge storage unit on its last legs ...  plus more.   

  3. Range/oven was not working. It was during home inspection.



In all of the above situations monies were held back in escrow and all were worked out shortly afterward.



What about the exterior?  Check to be sure there are no unwanted items left behind. If there is garbage at the curb waiting for a pickup or a full dumpster in the driveway, be sure that it will be removed (and paid for) prior to closing.  If there is a lot of acreage, walk the property to be sure it is as expected.



Although the walkthrough is not mandatory, it should never be passed up by the buyers provided there is a provision for it in the contract.





Barbara Altieri, REALTOR®
Listing and Buyer's Agent
Certified Short Sales Specialist
RealtyQuest Real Estate Sales and Services
30 Huntington Street, Shelton CT 06484
Office -- 203.929.1752
Cell -- 203.520.6930
Email --



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Carol Williams
U.S.: I specialize in helping agents who have been in the business 2 years or less create a thriving business. - Wenatchee, WA
"Customized Mentoring & Marketing Services"

Excellent choice for a reblog, Barbara.  

Nov 11, 2017 10:53 AM #1
John Wiley
Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty - Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL Real Estate GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Thanks for a great re-blog. I missed it the first time.

This is a great post for ALL Buyers to read.

Nov 11, 2017 11:30 AM #2
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
"Franklin MA Homes"

I thought so, too, Carol Williams 

John Wiley  there are some lazy buyer agents who don't understand the value of a final walk through.... those unsuspecting buyers are at their buyer agent's mercy.... they rely on them...

Nov 11, 2017 11:39 AM #3
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Barbara Todaro - This is a great reblog and needs to be visited and revisited from time to time. 

Nov 11, 2017 11:40 AM #4
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
"Franklin MA Homes"

yes, you're right Sheri Sperry - MCNE® .... I hope everyone leaves a comment on Barbara's original post....

Nov 11, 2017 11:42 AM #5
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

AMEN to all of her points, Barbara! Certainly a great one re-blog.

Have a great weekend!

Nov 11, 2017 02:00 PM #6
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®,CRS,
RE/MAX Professionals. - Tacoma, WA
Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority!

I can’t tell you how many things I have found on a final walk-through as a buyers agent. It’s not only a good idea it’s a necessity Barbara Todaro 

Nov 11, 2017 02:20 PM #7
Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®
Carmel by the Sea, CA
Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea

Barbara Todaro - One item seems to always come up: leftover paint. I always ask my buyers if they want it left. Could be useful for touchups, or could be a pain to dispose of.

Nov 12, 2017 07:34 AM #8
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
"Franklin MA Homes"

Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor® anything that's categorized as hazardous waste is often an expense and difficult process to dispose of....and paint is only good for a certain period of can't touch up with aged paint.... and the walls will not match unless both are fresh....

Nov 12, 2017 07:42 AM #9
Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

I had a final walk-through today to verify all repairs were done. It was disappointing as there were 12 unrepaired items. Now there will be another final walk-through.

Nov 12, 2017 03:42 PM #10
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
"Franklin MA Homes"

Wow...that's alot of unrepaired items...

Nov 12, 2017 03:47 PM #11
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905

Barbara, final walk-throughs are a cause for celebration! I do them frequently, with buyers and sellers, believe it or not! It's a great time to pass on the baton. I bring goodies, make introductions and watch the joys (small sometimes) happen. 

Nov 12, 2017 04:31 PM #12
Barbara Altieri
RealtyQuest/Kinard Realty Group, Fairfield and New Haven County CT Real Estate - Shelton, CT
REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale

Barbara Todaro Thank you so much for the reblog! I am honored you chose to do so!

Nov 12, 2017 06:42 PM #13
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