One of the last steps a Fort Lauderdale luxury home buyer takes before a real estate closing is a “home walk through”. There are important steps both the buyer and seller should heed to ensure the closing is not held up at this important stage in the home buying / home selling process.
The purpose of a home walk through is to allow the buyer to inspect the property to ensure it is essentially in the same or better condition as when it was first viewed. It is also the last time the home buyer can check the completion of any negotiated replacements or repairs. At this point in the real estate transaction, everyone has come a long way – from contract offer to acceptance, financing, inspections, appraisal and finally one last check before documents are signed and keys are handed over.
Many times this last, but critical, step before closing can be rushed or overlooked. Here are tips for home buyers and home sellers on do’s and don’t during a home walk through:
Home Walk Through Tips For Sellers:
TIME – Plan to be moved out of the property two to three days before the scheduled closing date. This extra time will allow you to take care of any last minute items, a process that often takes longer than you expect.
EMPTY – Buyers are expecting to see a totally vacant house. It should be completely cleared of personal items.
CLEAN – Technically, the property should be left in “broom swept” condition at a minimum. That means dust and debris is removed. However, we have found some of the most successful home walk throughs are those where the seller went an extra step and had the home professionally cleaned after move-out. It’s a gesture that is most often very well received – especially at the closing table.
MANUALS – Put all manuals for appliances, remote controls and such in one area. Place keys and garage remotes in a package that can be handed to the buyer at closing. If you have multiple keys, label each one with where it works. It is also nice to leave a list of any particular instructions, like details about the house and garbage collection days for the buyer.
TRASH – Make sure all trash is taken away prior to the home walk through. Do not leave full trash cans for the homeowner to deal with. This is where planning to be moved out two to three days before the walk through can come in very handy.
DAMAGE– While moving, damage can occur to the property. Plan to have all damages repaired before the scheduled home walk through. In the event there is something that cannot be fixed in time, notify your real estate agent right away; they will need to advise the buyer’s agent and determine the appropriate measures that need to be taken.
Home Walk Through Tips For Buyers:
FRAME OF MIND – Remain flexible. A home walk through is not a perfect process. As mentioned before, it can be very rushed, unless you plan accordingly.
TIME – Work with your agent to schedule enough time to inspect the home. Remember, this is your last time to ensure you are buying the property as agreed upon. If possible, arrange a time to meet with the sellers as well, so they can help orient you with the home and how things work.
REPAIRS – If there are significant home repairs that were negotiated, plan to have your home inspector return to the property well in advance of the closing to ensure they were made correctly. Some repairs are difficult for an untrained professional to check. You might have to pay a re-inspection charge, but usually the expense is well worth it – if only for your peace of mind. Be sure to have your inspector document incomplete repairs and provide the list to your agent promptly.
MOVING – Since you don’t legally own the home until after closing, don’t plan on moving any of your items in beforehand. While it might not seem like a big deal to move a few things, it could create liability issues if something went wrong – either to your items or with the closing.
An experienced real estate agent should help guide you through the home buying or home selling process to reduce as much stress as possible. If you have questions about the home walk through or Fort Lauderdale luxury real estate in general, contact us! 100% of clients rated our service as “EXCELLENT”! We would be thrilled to offer the same level of service to you.