The pre-closing home inspection is the buyer’s opportunity to ensure the house they are buying is in the same condition it was in when they first inspected it. It’s an important part of the purchasing process, but one that is often overlooked. This article explains why the pre-closing inspection is important, and what you should look for when visiting the home.
Protecting Your Interests
The pre-closing inspection, also referred to as “the final walk-through” is a critical step in the home buying process. But many buyers fail to take it seriously. As a home buyer, you need to conduct a thorough inspection prior to closing on the house. Why? Because in most states, once the closing is completed, the seller has no further obligations to you. It’s your house at that point.
How to Conduct a Pre-Closing Inspection
When you are doing the final inspection, start with the basics. Examine the windows and doors and make sure all of them open, close and lock. Double-check that the windows are not cracked or broken, and that all of the screens are present (if they were present when you first viewed the property).
Make sure there are no signs of flooding, leaking, or water damage of any kind. Look on the ceilings and floors for evidence of this. If you see anything that seems out of place, make sure you speak to your agent about it.
Check that all appliances are working. That includes turning the oven on and ensuring it gets hot. Turn on the burners on the stove to make sure all of them light. Actually open the refrigerator and freezer to make sure they are working. Briefly turn on the washing machine and the dryer.
Though you may feel uncomfortable doing all of this, it could save you money and time down the road.
You should also turn all lights on and off to make sure they work. You might even check all of the electrical plugs to ensure they work. Make sure none of the walls were damaged by movers or anyone else. Verify that any pools, hot tubs, saunas or other items are operational.
Follow up on Requested Repair Items
If the seller was required to do any work on the home (at your request), inspect the work carefully. Ask if there are any copies of work orders and warranties / guarantees by the vendors who performed the work. Make sure they fixed what they were supposed to fix, according to the signed purchase agreement.
It’s generally a good idea to have your agent present for the pre-closing inspection. That way, you can speak to him or her about any concerns you have along the way. Your agent can negotiate any agreements that need to be made based on your findings.
Don’t Be Shy
This is not the time to be shy or feel awkward. You are about to make what will probably be the largest investment of your life. Make sure you protect your investment by spending sufficient time conducting your pre-closing inspection.
The pre-closing inspection usually takes place right before the closing (within 24 hours in most cases). Because of this, many buyers are anxious and excited, and therefore fail to do a thorough inspection. Slow down, keep a cool head, and give your future home a thorough pre-closing inspection.