Helping Home Sellers



Final walk through

Final walk-through:

Two words:

"BE THERE" for the final walk through. You can usually avoid a possible disaster from the final walk-through by simply being at the property.

If you’re listed, agents often request that you not be in attendance during the walk-through. Agree to this, and then come up with some reason why you're there when they show up.

A walk-through usually takes place within 48 hours before closing. The buyers will check that the agreed upon repairs have been completed. They want to make sure that the floor under your living room rug wasn’t hiding a spill from a bottle of ink, you didn't switch the appliances to some new, entry level Chinese brand, you didn't relocate all those half empty paint and toxic liquids to the shed or that you didn’t just host a goodbye party with the Oakland Raiders.

What you don’t want is for the walk-through to become a second home inspection and discovery of "new" problems. Your presence really helps to discourage this.

During the walk-through:

The more of a mess the house is in, the better (come on now–within reason of course). Otherwise the buyers will easily see minor imperfections that could rattle them at this critical time. Boxes, old coat hangers and waste papers scattered around have a way of hiding these things anyway.

Remove pictures last, otherwise, cover nail holes by applying spackling compound with your finger, wiping clean with a moist sponge. If available, touch up with matching wall paint. If noticeable, point out to the buyers that you’ll be painting over these unless they’re planning on repainting. This looks like you’re really leaving the house in A-1 condition. 

Don’t follow them around like you’re afraid they'll notice something. Just keep packing. If possible, have extra help there to add to the hectic atmosphere.

After the buyers have been there for 15 minutes, try winding up their adventure by further distracting them. Point out the hard to find light switches, the replaceable water filter in the refrigerator and such. Then pull out the warranties and info packets. Show them in which kitchen drawer you’ll leave them, unless it’s traditional to bring them to closing.

Precautionary step:

This “stressful” session can be helped by asking the buyers for a few days of delayed possession during the initial negotiations, but be happy if you can get a day or two after closing, even if you have to pay rent. Also, with a delayed possession, at least you haven't moved out should the closing need to be rescheduled at the final hour.
Sometimes, with a delayed possession of any length or a rent back, the buyers will probably want a second walk-through after you really vacate the premises. Hard to deny this.

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