Special offer

The Final WalkThrough...

By
Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Evolution - 447 Boston Street, Suite #5, Topsfield, MA 92593-B

One of the more important steps in a Real Estate purchase is to take a final walk through the property you're purchasing. I've had buyer clients ask why so I share a story with them, a story about a closing in my own neighborhood. Caveat: This is a true story. I was not involved with the transaction but my colleague was.

On the morning of the closing, the buyers and their agent arrived at the property for the final walkthrough inspection. The agent explained the importance of viewing the property, one last time especially since the property would be empty. They walked through the property and were astonished by what they found.

First, the stove, which the buyers really liked, had been removed and replaced with a much cheaper and chintzy-looking model. The P&S had stated the existing stove would remain with the property.

Next, they went into the living room, and the "built-in, e.g. attached to the wall bookcase" was gone AND all the electric outlet covers were missing (really? electric outlet covers?). They toured the rest of the house without incident and then walked outside.

There was a koi pond that *had* ( had being the operative word) a walkway bridge over it. The bridge was gone as were several plantings around the property AND EVEN the window box planters were gone!!! Holy Smoke! These sellers had really moved out...lol

Well, it's not a laughing matter. The buyers are melting down in anger and hurt. These sellers had punctured the balloon of excitement for the buyers. 

You can imagine the closing table scene. Both the attorneys were astonished. The sellers didn't think there was anything wrong, after all, it was their stuff! It was explained that what they did was wrong and in Massachusetts, the buyers could be awarded treble damages should this go to court. 

A Buyer's Final Walk-Through Checklist | Buying NYC

The sellers agreed to pay for a new stove, landscaper, a carpenter for the window boxes & bookcase, electric outlet covers, and return the Koi Pond bridge. All seller proceeds were held in escrow until the repairs were finished and deemed satisfactory to the buyers.

This is why the final walkthrough is an important step in a real estate transaction. Check everything, lights, toilets, faucets, shower, garage doors, and moving damage, are just a few things. Your Realtor® will guide you through the process.

Posted by

Grace be with you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Thessalonians 1:2 KJV

Keller Williams Realty Evolution

447 Newburyport Turnpike Suite #5

Topsfield, MA 01983

 978-887-3995  ~ Office
 978-270-3037  ~ Cell
 DougDawes@KW.com

Doug Dawes
Keller Williams Evolution - 447 Boston Street, Suite #5, Topsfield, MA - Topsfield, MA
Your Personal Realtor®

Good Morning Kathy Streib Fortunately they were not my buyers or my listing but it was in my small neighborhood

May 02, 2023 07:07 AM
Doug Dawes
Keller Williams Evolution - 447 Boston Street, Suite #5, Topsfield, MA - Topsfield, MA
Your Personal Realtor®

Good Morning Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ 

I use a checklist that shows everything included and everything excluded in the sale and is a separate document that all parties are required to sign

May 02, 2023 07:09 AM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ

Good for you!-

May 02, 2023 02:55 PM
Doug Dawes
Keller Williams Evolution - 447 Boston Street, Suite #5, Topsfield, MA - Topsfield, MA
Your Personal Realtor®

Good Morning Dr. Paula McDonald  I believe it's inherent within human nature. Some act on those negative things while others act on positive things

May 02, 2023 07:12 AM
Doug Dawes
Keller Williams Evolution - 447 Boston Street, Suite #5, Topsfield, MA - Topsfield, MA
Your Personal Realtor®

Good Morning Kat Palmiotti 

I think we all have a grab bag of good and bad stories regarding Real Estate transactions. When the sellers found out they could be held liable for triple damages their tuned changed

May 02, 2023 07:15 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Hi Doug... this is why the NC contract now specifies what has to stay with a home in such detail you could "scream" reading through that.

May 02, 2023 09:58 AM
Ed Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Sellers often want it all and feel that the buyers should be satisfied with just getting the house. I have seen the gouges on floors and dents on the walls from moving the furniture and often on walls that were previously clean.

May 02, 2023 10:41 AM
Kieran Jackson
Keller Williams Hollywood Hills - Los Angeles, CA
Realtor®, SFR, U.S. Army Veteran

Wow! This does sound like a nightmare for the buyers. I have a client that purchased a home a few years back. At the time I represented him, he was a tenant renting an apartment from our brokerage's compliance officer's landlord client. When he looked over the purchase agreement, he told me "oh, this is my client's tenant".

Fast forward a few weeks, we are close to closing. Our compliance officer calls me Friday night and says "hey, the seller has posted a garage sale tomorrow. You better stop by there and make sure he's not selling something the buyer wants/expects to stay at the house".

Turns out, he was!

All the best,

Kieran

Keller Williams Hollywood Hills 

May 02, 2023 11:09 AM
Ann Hayden 636-399-7544
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties-St. Louis Missouri 314-775-2050 - Des Peres, MO
SelectAnn.com

Hi Doug,

Sound advice!  Walk throughs can be eye openers!

Ann

May 02, 2023 04:15 PM
Doug Dawes
Keller Williams Evolution - 447 Boston Street, Suite #5, Topsfield, MA - Topsfield, MA
Your Personal Realtor®

Hi Nina Hollander, Broker 

I believe it. When I was going through my father's papers, after he died, I found the mortgage document for his father's house circa 1945. It was one 8½ x 11 sheet typed on both sides and included the signatures. 

May 03, 2023 09:29 AM
Doug Dawes
Keller Williams Evolution - 447 Boston Street, Suite #5, Topsfield, MA - Topsfield, MA
Your Personal Realtor®

That's one of the biggest things Ed Silva, moving damage. BUT as you say some sellers want everything

May 03, 2023 09:30 AM
Doug Dawes
Keller Williams Evolution - 447 Boston Street, Suite #5, Topsfield, MA - Topsfield, MA
Your Personal Realtor®

That certainly beats the cake, Kieran Jackson. It's a good thing you got the heads up about the garage sale.

May 03, 2023 09:32 AM
Doug Dawes
Keller Williams Evolution - 447 Boston Street, Suite #5, Topsfield, MA - Topsfield, MA
Your Personal Realtor®

Good Morning Ann Hayden 636-399-7544 

Yes, most certainly the final walkthrough can be, and many times, is an eyeopener

May 03, 2023 09:34 AM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Realty ONE Group Advocates 484-237-2055 - Downingtown, PA
Selling the Main Line & Chester County

Wow, that is one amazing story, not sure how I as an agent would have reacted, and it is always a surprise to the sellers that they have done something wrong.

May 03, 2023 10:04 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Doug:

Wow, that is quite a story. I cannot imagine what the buyers must have thought as they witnessed all that had changed.

That was a pretty expensive lesson for the former owners.

Sellers need to be educated up front about what goes and what stays, and there needs to be something in writing. If course buyers need to understand as well. But I suppose some people will stay think they can take things they want.

Jeff

May 03, 2023 05:49 PM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Yes, we all have the stories, and it is never a good idea to go to closing without a final walk thru! I feel sorry for the buyers that did not have a positive experience at closing. When purchasing my home, the sellers replaced every light with 25-watt bulbs. You can only say, WHY?

May 03, 2023 09:25 PM
Doug Dawes
Keller Williams Evolution - 447 Boston Street, Suite #5, Topsfield, MA - Topsfield, MA
Your Personal Realtor®

Good Morning Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543 

In this case, the sellers were very aware of what they were doing. No normal person would think it's ok to dig up plantings/bushes

May 04, 2023 04:35 AM
Doug Dawes
Keller Williams Evolution - 447 Boston Street, Suite #5, Topsfield, MA - Topsfield, MA
Your Personal Realtor®

Good Morning Jeff Dowler, CRS 

I know we use a document that has a list of what is excluded and what is included that both parties need to sign

May 04, 2023 04:36 AM
Doug Dawes
Keller Williams Evolution - 447 Boston Street, Suite #5, Topsfield, MA - Topsfield, MA
Your Personal Realtor®

Really??? Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400 25-watt bulbs! I always say if you want to complicate things add people to the mix...lol

May 04, 2023 04:38 AM
Kirsten Mellinger
SkyView Real Estate - Simi Valley, CA
Ventura County Real Estate

What a story! Removing outlet covers suggests there may have been some anger during the transaction, rather than just taking items they believed belonged to them.

May 04, 2023 05:38 PM
Edward Gilmartin
CRE - Boston, MA

Listing agent should probably monitor home leading up to closing 

May 08, 2023 03:50 AM