The Final Walkthrough - 5 Things Buyers Hate to Find
Your closing day is almost here and the buyers have scheduled their final walkthrough. You've emptied the house, made repairs, and cleaned up. What could go wrong?
As a seller, you may be unnerved by this. Buyers are allowed to visit the house before closing and make sure the house is as it's supposed to be. It's mostly a benign visit with the buyers excited to head to the close.
What are the walkthrough hiccups that can occur?
ITEMS THAT BOTH SIDES THOUGHT THEY HAD A RIGHT TO
The second refrigerator in the garage or basement, the stunning chandelier in the dining room - gone! It happens all the time - believe me. Unless you made sure the contract specified the second refrigerator, the seller can take it. This applies to shrubs and trees as well.
Sellers can replace the chandelier with a different one - as long as they specify that the item does not convey with the house. They can remove a special tree - if it's written in the contract and the buyers agree. What you write (or don't write) in the contract is crucial.
ITEMS THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN REMOVED
The buyer never said they wanted all the paint cans in the basement. Why are there still shampoo bottles in the shower? Chemicals and cement mix in the garage?
As a seller, you're already taking everything you want. You must also take - or have hauled out - all personal items and debris.
In Winnetka and the North Shore communities, hardwood floors are treasured. Many new buyers have them refinished before moving in to freshen them and change the stain color.
But any major flaws should be disclosed. If an area rug covered something unpleasant, it should be disclosed. Water from plants and pet urine are the two biggest offenders. It's possible sellers aren't aware until they move, but they should expect to hand over credit at closing.
Any gauges in walls or floors that weren't noticed before will need to be explained. Sellers should always go through the home after the movers are done to check for any damage. Of course, this should be discussed with the movers beforehand, but sellers should be prepared to repair the harm or issue a credit.
SIGNS OF WATER IN THE BASEMENT OR CEILING
This is more of a Midwest issue since we have basements AND water. After the basement is emptied out, it's easier to see signs of water damage or seepage. This is an important one to check off on the Disclosure Statement (it's the #2 question on our disclosure.)
Final walkthroughs encompass much more than discussed here. These are the issues most often brought up and are usually avoidable. Your deal could be delayed or fall apart at the closing table because of unresolved issues.
Be sure to check the contract carefully- particularly if you have a section where you check off what stays with the house. And always state what you want to take with you that commonly stays with the house.
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