Every buyer wants to know that the home they’re buying is in proper shape before closing day. More often than not, small previously unnoticed issues can crop up after new homeowners move in. This is why we always recommend doing a final walkthrough before closing day. A walkthrough is especially important if you choose not to have an official home inspection. Here’s a list of ten things to look for on your final walkthrough.


  1. Inspect ceilings, walls, and floors. Now that the seller has moved out and all the rooms are (hopefully) empty, you can get a good look at every surface. It’s probably not worth addressing things like nail pops or a not-so-great paint job. But if you see a possible mold spot that was previously hidden behind a sofa, you’ll definitely want to get your real estate agent’s advice on where to go from there.

  2. Turn on and off every light switch. Bring a new lightbulb with you in case there aren’t any in the home. Make sure you know what every switch does and whether or not they work properly.

  3. Test heating and air conditioning. Simply adjust the thermostat and make sure each one works.

  4. Test all appliances. Turn on the stove, check the fridge and freezer, run the (empty) dishwasher for a few minutes, try out the garbage disposal and exhaust fans.

  5. Check all doors to make sure they don’t stick or have loose hinges or knobs. Make sure the locks work properly.

  6. Open and close all windows. Make sure they slide up and down easily, and check for drafty gaps.

  7. Check kitchens and baths for leaks and cracks. A leaky faucet can make a big difference in your water bill. Inspect areas around pipes and faucets for signs of water damage.

  8. Run the water in all sinks, showers, and tubs, and flush toilets.

  9. Test the garage door opener, if there is one. If there isn’t an automatic opener, make sure the door opens and closes properly.

  10. Check for any items you thought would be included in the sale of the house. These include things like refrigerators, light fixtures, and built-ins. The contract should specifically state whether or not they are included, but if it hasn’t been addressed and you find that they’re missing, talk with your agent to see what can be done.


Many of the items on this list are things that a home inspector will look for and advise you about. He or she can help you come up with a list of things that should be addressed. One caveat, however: try to keep the list to things that absolutely must be taken care of before moving in. Be smart about what repairs you ask the seller to do before closing. In a seller’s market, asking for small, insignificant repairs could be the seller’s deciding factor between accepting your offer or a competing one.




A friend of ours who recently bought a house enthusiastically referred us to Johnson & Wilson. Our friend's recommendation was top notch - Johnson & Wilson. is AWESOME! - Brian
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