We almost didn't do a final walk through. These buyers were suppose to get possession of the house they were buying 5 days in advance of closing. That would have allowed them to move at a leisurely pace and then a day of cleaning up for the new owners of their house. At the last minute the seller reneged! And in the panic of fast paced packing, the sellers almost declined the opportunity to walk through the house one last time before they owned it.
"But what if they are refusing early possession because they have something to hide," my client asked? So we all jumped in our cars, drove to Mt. Morris and exercised our right for a final walk through. It is a good thing we did.
The primary purpose of a final walk through is to make sure the property is in the same condition as when the purchase offer was accepted. In addition, a typical sales contract calls for heating, electrical, plumbing, and other systems as well as included appliances to be in working order at the time of closing and the walk through is the last opportunity for the buyer to make sure that that is the case. At the walk through, the buyer should fire up the furnace, open the garage door, look beneath curtains or whatever else is necessary to make sure all is in working order.
Back to Mt. Morris. We turned on all the lights, turned up the heat, ran the dishwasher. We even flushed all the toilets and ran all the water which is how we found the problem. There was a leak in the plumbing in the master bath, a significant leak, which caused a puddle in the basement. But we found it! Since there wasn't time to get a plumber in, the closing was held on schedule and funds to cover the plumber's bill were held in escrow. And hopefully, everyone lives happily ever after.
If you are buying a property, don't ever consider not doing the final walk through!