Most folks know when you're buying a home it's a good idea to get a home inspection. But were you also aware of the importance of taking a final walk-through before closing? In this Angie's List report, how they both can benefit you, the buyer.
"A lot of the decision to buy a house is emotional," says home inspector Bob Hintze. "People buying the house are really excited about it. They don't tend to look at the details or they don't tend to look at how things work."
"When buying a house, the home inspection is one of the most important things you are going to do because that is when you are going to bring a professional in and assess the condition of the house," says Angie Hicks, founder of Angie's List. "But a lot of times the consumers skip out on going to the home inspection. What they then miss out on is learning about their home and seeing firsthand any problem areas."
An inspector will look at the structure of the home, the roof, the heating and cooling system, plumbing and electrical systems and determine if the home needs repairs and if there are any health or safety concerns.
Once the home inspection is complete – you're still not done.
You're next step before closing is a final walk-through with your real estate agent.
"A final walk-through of the house you are buying might seem really simple but a lot of times is overlooked," says Hicks. "It's important because you can then double check anything you ask for in your contract has been completed and also you can find out if there was any damage to the house when the seller moved out. It doesn't take a lot of time and it's really simple that can save you some headaches."
During a walk-through, you will go room by room with your real estate agent to make sure agreed-upon repairs have been made and that the home's condition hasn't changed since your last visit.
You'll run through a checklist of sorts - testing appliances to make sure they work; running water to check for leaks.
If you discover any issues talk to your real estate agent about your options.
"Certainly if a defect is so great that the buyer does not want to purchase the home there are rights," says real estate agent Kristie Smith. "In most states, there is a sales disclosure process that the seller must commit to having the home in the same or better condition as when everyone signed that disclosure in the first place. That's usually signed at the time of contract."
The walk-through is oftentimes scheduled on the same day as the closing, but can also be scheduled the day before.
Depending on the size of the home, the process can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.