Buyer’s Final Inspection
The purpose of the walk-through inspection prior to settlement is to determine if conditions in the contract are satisfied. The time for the buyer to inspect and note defects for correction by the seller is during the contract negotiation and prior to signing the sales agreement. Repair or replacement items should be noted in the contract. Most resale homes are sold in “as is” condition, however, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing items should be in working condition.
It is up to the buyer to perform the inspection, not the seller who may or may not be present. The buyer should be accompanied by the selling broker and/or the listing broker. The home seller should be sure utilities are on so that equipment can be operated.
Room by Room
Expect the buyer to try all lights and switches; turn all faucets on and off, run shower and flush toilets; turn on furnace and central air conditioning (in off-season, the buyer may hire a professional to certify proper function); test all stove burners, oven at bake and broil; run some ice cubes through disposal to test the blades; run the dishwasher, washer, and dryer through complete cycles; open and close all windows and doors. In short, the buyer should try everything, including the keys and the fireplace flue.
All deficiencies should be noted. If seller does not correct problems prior to settlement, funds may be withheld by the settlement attorney for repairs. The selling broker will coordinate with the listing broker and seller to make repairs before settlement, if possible. Upon receipt of bills and notification that repairs are complete, the attorney will release the balance of funds to the seller, if money is escrowed for needed repairs.