Why do a Real Estate "Walk-Thru" prior to "Closing"?
In Florida we call Settlement of Escrow “Closings”. This is where your purchase money is transferred to the seller and the keys to your new home purchase are given to you.
There should always be a “Walk-Thru” just prior to closing...preferably on the day of closing, the agent and/or the buyer will do a final walk thru of the property. This is to make sure that the property is being conveyed in the same condition as when the buyer bought it.
It is possible that deficiencies occurred between the time of contract and the closing date, so you cannot assume anything.The seller needs to have the utilities on for the final walk through just like they need to be on for the home inspection.
During the walk thru the major things should be checked; the A/C, appliances, lights, showers, garbage disposal, fixtures and any signs of new roof leaks.
At “Closing” the seller needs to be out of the home with all of their belongings...the junk or garbage also needs to be removed. The property needs to be in broom swept condition and all the keys, warranties, remotes and other gadgets need to be given to the home buyer.
Here are some issues that have happened:
- Seller takes the top-of-the line appliances that were to stay.
- Seller replaces the gorgeous chandelier with cheap junk.
- Seller removes 5 ceiling fans and puts a plate over the holes.
- Seller was to fix the leaking water heater...instead stuffed it full of towels.
- Seller had no carpet where the water bed was, but the rest of the bedroom had nice carpet. (this hidden defect should have been disclosed)
I could write a much longer list because we have seen it all...many agents will not bother doing a “walk thru” because they do not want to raise any issues prior to closing. Finding newly developed problems is exactly why we will always do one...with or without the buyer.
We think differently…
The home buyer sees a home and likes it, so they make an offer based on what they see in the home. The contract stipulates what is to stay. If a seller decides to strip some of the value from the property that is not what the buyer bargained for.
If what was removed or replaced is not listed in the contract as an “exclusion”, then the seller cannot do that. It’s just that simple.
Time to speak up and negotiate a settlement. Both the buyer and seller need to follow what the contract states. If items are to stay they need to be there at the walk-thru. If something is missing, damaged or replaced with something of lesser quality, the home buyer needs to be made whole.
If the pool is green and the grass is two feet high that is also not the way the buyer bought it. The property needs to be maintained in the same condition as before.
Likewise, the seller's personal property, which includes broken computers, toxic junk or garbage, needs to be removed...it is not part of the house sale. If not, the seller needs to give the buyer adequate money to have it disposed of.
The seller's promise of completing anything after closing holds no weight because you have no leverage so a promise means nothing. Money held back from the seller is a guarantee.
Looking to buy a home? We are experienced at resolving issues in the buyers best interest...call us 727-202-9130.