The Ultimate Final Walk-Through Checklist

By Sean Donnelly | June 20, 2023

New modern construction cottage with a teal door.

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The final walk-through is one of the last but most important steps to take when purchasing a new home. Picking paint colors may be more exciting, and booking professional movers may seem more urgent—but the final walk-through could determine whether your move will be a success or a regret. Whether you are a seasoned homeowner or a first-time homebuyer, our comprehensive final walk-through checklist will help you ensure a seamless transition to your new home.

 


 

What Is a Final Walk-Through?

The final walk-through is an opportunity for the buyer to inspect the home one last time before closing. It often takes place just a few hours before closing—especially if the buyer is planning an interstate move. During the final walk-through, the homebuyer should verify that everything is in good working order and no new damage has occurred since the initial home inspection. By this point, any agreed-upon repairs should be complete, and the property should be vacant.

 


 

Benefits of a Final Walk-Through Checklist

Having a final walk-through checklist on hand will help ensure that no detail goes unnoticed during your inspection. No matter how sharp your memory or how keen your observation skills are, it’s easy to miss something you aren’t looking for.

A final walk-through checklist provides clarity and peace of mind. With it, you will be better equipped to identify and address issues promptly. You can use the checklist to document potential problems and communicate them to the current homeowner. This, in turn, will ensure everyone is on the same page.

 


 

Items to Include in a Final Walk-Through Checklist

Your final walk-through checklist should cover every aspect of the home and purchase agreement. Here’s an overview of what to include:

 


 

Tips for a Successful Final Walk-Through

The most important tip for a successful final walk-through is to bring your checklist along. You should also follow these tips:

 


 

Pitfalls to Avoid During a Final Walk-Through

Here are some potential pitfalls to avoid during the final walk-through:

 


 

Our Recommendation

With a comprehensive final walk-through checklist, you can confidently assess the condition of the property and address any issues before moving into your new home. Make sure your checklist covers the categories and items mentioned in this article, and follow our tips to avoid common pitfalls and buyer’s remorse. Above all else, remember to come prepared and avoid rushing through this important step in the home-buying process.

 


 

Final Walk-Through FAQ

What should I look for in the final walk-through of a new construction home?

In the final walk-through of a new construction home, you should assess the overall quality of the construction and ensure that everything is in working order. Potential red flags include uneven floors, foundation cracks, broken appliances, faulty wiring, mold growth, pest damage, chipped paint, carpet stains, and doors or windows that are difficult to open and close.

What is the difference between the inspection and the final walk-through?

There are several differences between a home inspection and a final walk-through. The goal of a home inspection is completed by a professional to identify serious issues that would dissuade the buyer from purchasing the home as-is. The final walk-through is conducted later, just before closing, by the buyer and their real estate agent to make sure that the seller has met all terms of the purchase agreement.

Is the final walk-through a contingency?

Although the final walk-through is not technically considered a contingency, it does give the buyer a final opportunity to renegotiate the sale. If the buyer discovers significant issues that were left undisclosed or unresolved by the seller, they might ask for compensation or delay the sale until the issues are addressed. They could even back out of the deal altogether—though doing so may require them to forfeit their deposit or earnest money.

Is a final walk-through required by law?

No, a final walk-through is not required by law. However, it is an important step that protects both the buyer and the seller. The buyer receives assurance that the home is in the condition agreed upon, and the seller protects themselves from liability.