How to Minimize Final-Walkthrough Stress

The final walkthrough is often the ideal time for stressed buyers to get upset, and agents should prepare them for imperfections that can show up in now-empty rooms.

NEW YORK – Cara Ameer, broker associate and global luxury agent with Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty in Ponte Vedra Beach, says the final walkthrough is a critical time when the home needs to be in presentable condition.

For the buyer, that final inspection is an ideal time to check for flaws not apparent when visiting a home full of furniture, such as flooring or other issues. If something is found, it’s the buyers’ last change to seek some kind of agreement with the seller.

Agents should explain to buyers an inspection’s limitations, notably that the inspector doesn’t move rugs or furniture, so flaws may appear after a home is vacated. Similarly, wall imperfections may appear once after removing the artwork and mirrors. Based on what is negotiated and the current contractual requirements, a buyer may ask a seller to patch holes and have those areas painted.

To minimize stress, however, agents should prepare buyers for something less than perfection during the walkthrough.

Agents should also reconfirm which items stay and which do not early in the contract period. Rather than rely on memory, it’s important to review the items with the listing agent several weeks before closing – and have a plan in case a worst-case scenario occurs.

As for cleanliness, it’s important to reexamine the terms in the purchase agreement regarding the contractual expectation, such as keeping the home in “broom swept” condition.

It might help some buyers to request that the home be professionally cleaned after the seller vacates, making it part of the initial offer.

Buyers and sellers also leave the walkthrough with a basic understanding of how things will transfer, such as keys, fobs, garage door openers and access cards.

Source: Inman (08/08/22) Ameer, Cara

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