Living Lake Livingston!


Why is the buyer doing a final walk through?


Why is the buyer doing a final walk through?


I was recently asked by a seller "Why is the buyer doing a final walk through?" The question surprised me, because it seems so obvious to me. After all -- I am in the real estate business. But hey, if this seller asked, that means that there are others out there that are asking this same question!


Some items left behind. The seller's excuse? Unfortunately, not all sellers are thoughtful toward their buyers. There have been times when sellers would leave junk in the home for the new buyer to get rid of. There have been times that the home was damaged during the moving process and the seller did not make the necessary repairs.


One of the most common things is that the seller will agree in the sales contract to leave certain non realty items, and then they take one of the items with them. 


A final walk through insures that the property was left in acceptable condition to the buyers, and that the terms of the contract have been fulfilled. For example, if the non realty item addendum (TEXAS) states that the refrigerator stays, the buyers will look to make sure the refrigerator is still there.


So if your buyers schedule an appointment right before closing, don't take it personally, they are just doing exactly what they should do. As long as you, the seller,  have done what you are supposed to do, you should have nothing to worry about!


Happy Buyers and Happy Sellers. That is the goal of the Final Walk Through!


Why is the buyer doing a final walk through?



This has been brought to you by YOUR Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area real estate professional. Before you buy or sell, call Joni Bailey at (936) 650-9017. I look forward to earning your business and exceeding your expectations. Broker Associate with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services - Anderson Properties. Mike Huff, Broker.  BerkshireHathaway Hom Services is a member of the franchise system of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Each office is independently owned and operated.



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Licensed in the state of Texas (0518539)                      



Comment balloon 106 commentsJoni Bailey • October 15 2013 10:15AM


We often forget and talk real estate lingo and think our clients know what's going on when in reality they don't.  It's like going to the Dr and leaving not knowing a word they said.

Posted by John McCormack,, Albuquerque Homes Realty (Albuquerque Homes Realty * over 4 years ago


Thanks for clarifying for sellers why the buyer has the right to do a final walk through. Many people don't realize that when they agree to leave items and it's in writing that is a legal contract. A smart buyer would definitely want a final walk through.

Great post.

Posted by Trisha Bush-LeFore, Providing Realtor Services in the Walla Walla Area (Preferred Properties Land & Homes) over 4 years ago

Good topic for continued discussion. Home sellers need to know what to expect. And, home buyer should not have unrealistic expectations. The home is very different after the furniture is removed.

Posted by Roy Kelley, Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs (Realty Group Referrals) over 4 years ago

Q: GREAT point!!

Trisha: They are only doing what they SHOULD do. It is not  personal insult to the seller. It's like checking your receipt when you purchase an item -- just to make sure no mistakes were made. Why do you check?  So you can correct it before you leave the store.

Roy: That is so very true!! It does look VERY different when the "staging" is gone! :)

Posted by Joni Bailey, Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR® (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services - Anderson Properties) over 4 years ago

Hi Joni, 

Good points about the final walk and I thought doing a walk is sort of a Duh but appently not if some folks do not undrstand why buyers and their agents want them to do this walk. 

Posted by Robert Bob Gilbert, Your Katy TX ( West of Houston) Real Estate Expert (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties) over 4 years ago

Great question answered Joni! Yes, I recommend doing a walk-through. Also take photos beforehand and compare against actual appliances!

Posted by Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!, So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR (PK Real Estate Utah South) over 4 years ago

Joni agents that don't do a final walk through on a home in AZ would be considered to not be acting with a standard of care to their clients.  It's always done or it's signed off by the buyers that they are chosing not to do a walk through.  But you're right - there could be some sellers that don't know about a final walk through (not likely in AZ as it's in our contract) but that it's still possible. Great topic for discussion and I will bring up in my CE class on agency this week - just to remind them.


Featured in BananaTude Group

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS, Broker, Arizona's Top Banana of Real Estate! (Phoenix Property Shoppe) over 4 years ago

Joni:  What might seem obvious in the way of info and details is certainly not obvious to all.  You're absolutely right.  If one person is actually asking the question ... there are others that wonder much the same thing ..


Posted by Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi, 708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience (NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656) over 4 years ago

We do need to come down off our real estate horses once in a while and explain in easy terms what we are talking about, don't we, Joni. You did a great job. Suggested. Loved your picture with hubby.

Posted by Toni Weidman, 26 Years Selling Homes in New Port Richey, FL (Sailwinds Realty) over 4 years ago

Joni, I just responded to another blog on the same topic.  I get listing agents all the time who ask me if my buyers really need a final walkthru.  I say YES!  

Posted by Jean Hanley, Specializing in Folks Who Want To Buy/Sell Homes (Coldwell Banker Kivett Teeters) over 4 years ago

There are several reasons to clients to do walk throughts. Don't want any more surprises!

Posted by Jonathan Hall, Realtor - Danbury,CT Area Real Estate~203-417-0523 (William Pitt Sotheby's International Realty) over 4 years ago

It is really in the best interest of everyone involved before the house closes.

Posted by Lara O'Keefe (North Texas Home Finders) over 4 years ago

Always, always have walk-through with prior to closing. It can save you, the agent, as well as the buyers any expenses for items damaged or not on left, as the contract  states.

Posted by Clay R. Seay (Florida Homes Realty & Mortgage) over 4 years ago

Yes, the goal of a good transaction and the final walk-thru is to have happy sellers and buyers.

Posted by Michelle Carr-Crowe-Top 1% Diamond Certified Real Estate Team Sells Cupertino San Jose Homes-Just Call 408-252-8900, Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years (Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900!) over 4 years ago

Hi Joni, I am surprised that any seller would ask this question, but I am glad to blogged about it, since there are sure to be others out there, who should be preparing to leave their homes in good condition for the new buyers. I have actually had to go back and ask some of my past sellers to remove junk they left in the backyards. 

Posted by Jerry Newman, Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation (Brown Realty, 210-789-4216, over 4 years ago

Joni -- I remember reading a few posts here in the past that talked about various appliances leaving, though they were in the contract to remain; or again of an older, smaller appliance being exchanged for the one in the contract.  Looks like the Sellers need to review the documentation they are signing, like the buyers do, to make sure they don't have problem with the buyers' final walkthrough.

Posted by Steven Cook (No Longer Processing Mortgages.) over 4 years ago

When we represent the buyers, we consider the final walk through imperative! There are too many possible things that can (and often do) go wrong - fixtures and appliances that were part of the listing are removed, or ones that were not part of the listing are not removed, not to mention the disregard that some sellers show - broken banisters, broken windows, etc.

Posted by Wayne and Jean Marie Zuhl, The Last Names You'll Ever Need in Real Estate (Hallmark Realtors) over 4 years ago


Final walk tru is so important for sellers and buyers. No one, especially the buyers want any surprises after a closing.

Posted by Les & Sarah Oswald, Broker, Realtor and Investor (Eastvale Team Realty & Property Mgmt) over 4 years ago

Joni, a Buyer is taking a big chance if they do not do a walk through, and Sellers need to understand that.

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) over 4 years ago

Bob: John made a good point about understanding the lingo, etc. in comment #1.

Wanda: Oh wow! I have not had anyone switch out appliances, yet. YIKES!

Ms Banana: Wow! It's in the AZ Contract. I like it!!

Gene: It's back to the old "never a stupid question" thing!!

Toni: I was certainly reminded that EVERYTHING needs to be explained. EVEN to someone that previously held a real estate license. 

Jean: Really? I've never had an agent ask me that. And I am out in a rural area.

Jonathan: Absolutely!!

Lara: That is right! Happy Buyers and Happy Sellers! That's the goal!

Clay: Right on!!

Michelle: Agreed!

Jerry: The photo that I used for this post was stuff left at a home by one of my sellers. (YIKES!)

Steven: Exactly!

Wayne: Or just leaving the house a mess. It amazes me that they do not always leave the home sparkling clean. It is a personal reflection of them.

Sarah: That's exactly right! No surprises!



Posted by Joni Bailey, Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR® (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services - Anderson Properties) over 4 years ago

In the very best of worlds, a final walkthrough would not be necessary. Unfortunately in the real world sellers do things like change out light fixtures and replace or remove appliances. Oh well....

Posted by Tom White, Franklin Homes Realty LLC, Franklin TN (Franklin Homes Realty LLC (615) 495-0752 or over 4 years ago

George: Seller's shouldn't have anything to worry about if they leave their home as they were instructed to, right? :)

Tom: And unfortunately, we live in the REAL world. :)

Posted by Joni Bailey, Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR® (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services - Anderson Properties) over 4 years ago

Such a good topic and excellent explanation for sellers wondering about this!  And sometimes it is just an easy way to make sure all are on the same page - if sellers think the buyers will be delighted that they are leaving them some empty plastic flower pots, and dried up paint cans, and old miscellaneous pieces of wood - when actually the buyers are not that delighted and envisioning a trip to the dump with someone else's "stuff".  Easier to catch & correct before closing for sure!

Posted by Nancy Conner, Olympia/Thurston County WA (Managing Broker - City Realty Inc) over 4 years ago

I'm always so afraid that th HVAC unit or something will be stolen if we don't do the walk through right before closing.  We have so much problem with copper theft here especially with the empty REO homes.  Always best to check!!


Love your wall paper!

Posted by Lori Williams, Lake Wylie, Gastonia, SW Charlotte, Homes for Sale (Lake Wylie, Charlotte, Gastonia Homes for Sale ABR, CDPE, SFR, ASP, over 4 years ago

Joni, I'm fairly sure this is standard for just about every real estate transaction.  What a strange question.  

Posted by Juli Vosmik, Scottsdale/Cave Creek, AZ real estate 480-710-0739 (Dominion Fine Properties) over 4 years ago

I was recently surprised when a buyer said "why would I want to do another walk through?"  If the buyer doesn't, I get them to sign a waiver releasing me from any liability.

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) over 4 years ago

Hi Joni, congratulations on your featured!  I thought that a walk through when buying a house was common knowledge too but I guess not.  Thanks for sharing your experiences!

Posted by Karen Johnson, Realtor, ABR, "Bucks County PA Homes" (Addison Wolfe Real Estate ) over 4 years ago

I've had sellers say the same thing..  I explain to them, it's in the contract,, and the more inspections, appraisals, etc. the buyer has, the less likely an issue pops up after closing !!!!!!!!! Never been to court......let's dont start now.......

Posted by Marlene Shelton Giles (RE/MAX 1st Olympic REALTORS,Lynchburg, Va.) over 4 years ago

It is part of most contracts that I have seen.  Besides, if I were a buyer I would want to make it sure it was in the same condition as the time I made the offer.

Posted by Kathy Sheehan, Senior Loan Officer (Bay Equity, LLC 770-634-4021) over 4 years ago

Nancy: Absolutely!

Lori: Oh my! That's awful! I'm sorry to hear that.

Juli: I thought it was especially odd since the seller used to be licensed.

Tammy: Absolutely!

Karen: In 10 years, this was the one and only time I have ever been asked the question. 

Marlene: Right! Let's don't start now!

Kathy: It is not part of the Texas contract. But it more common for buyers to do them than for them not to.

Posted by Joni Bailey, Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR® (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services - Anderson Properties) over 4 years ago

Joni, A final walk thru is so important. Though we like to think that sellers will do what they say they will and not hide any flaws we know as agents that sometimes that is not the case.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) over 4 years ago

Joni- the final walk-thru is important for buyers.  I have see severly damaged driveways, damage to leach fields, and walls which are a different color once the entertainment center was removed.  Also a walkthrough is important when negotiated repairs have to be completed prior to closing.

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) over 4 years ago

I'll be doing a final walk-thru tomorrow and look forward to the right stuff being there and the other stuff being gone!

Posted by Michelle Carr-Crowe-Top 1% Diamond Certified Real Estate Team Sells Cupertino San Jose Homes-Just Call 408-252-8900, Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years (Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900!) over 4 years ago
Excellent post!!! I usually have a client do a walk through a few days prior to closing and another walk through a day prior to closing just to ensure the condition hasn't changed especially after a huge storm.
Posted by Rosie Moore (Serving Sugar Land, Richmond, Rosenberg, Missouri City) over 4 years ago

I had a closing once where the sellers removed the $2,000 stainless steel fridge from the kitchen and replaced it with the 1980's olive green fridge from the garage.  It was my seller too!  Not fun!!!  Now I always stipulate exactly what appliance down to the nitty gritty.

Posted by Lisa Friedman, 28 Years of Real Estate Experience! (Great American Dream Realty) over 4 years ago
Joni, during a recent walk through with sellers present, sellers learned that no, they could not switch out light fixtures at the last minute. Their listing agent failed to mention this in the MLS listing information and these fixture were not excluded. Without a walk through before closing, my buyers would have been surprised to find different lights in he house than they had expected.
Posted by Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES, Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living (Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch!) over 4 years ago

At times I will call back the home inspector to accomnpany us on a final walkthrough to insure that repairs negotiated were done properly. I recommend that you do this the day before so that changes cans till e be made and then do a walkthough again before closing.

Posted by Joe Pryor, REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties (The Virtual Real Estate Team) over 4 years ago

     Today we had a very long "Final Walk Through".  But it was a good time; the Buyer and Seller were present, the Listing Broker and the Selling Agent were also there, and so were two neighbors with their dogs!    

     We went straight from the Subject Property to the Title Attorney, and the Good Vibes carried over.

Posted by Fred Griffin, Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker (Fred Griffin Real Estate) over 4 years ago

Joni: I don't want the seller at the final walk-through. I usually do my own walk-through of my listings a few hours before the buyer comes through.  And I've had teams of cleaners out there, especially if a tenant had to move out quickly.  It can get hectic right at the end.

Posted by Hella Mitschke Rothwell, Hawaii & California Real Estate Broker ((831) 626-4000) over 4 years ago

And why wouldn't you do a walk through?

Our Maryland contract states the buyer has a right to inspect within five days prior to settlement.

Posted by Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) over 4 years ago

Joni, most of the times, Happy Buyer and Happy Seller is the idea behind final walk-through. Not when there is a seller threatening to take away washer, dryer, refrigerator (even when contract says so!) unless the buyer pays $X at closing! (just kidding...)

Actually, I have seen this fluctuating - in different markets, buyers or sellers 'play' games before closing (and at walk-through!) Just never understood why!

Posted by Praful Thakkar, Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale (LAER Realty Partners) over 4 years ago

Joni, we also do the confirmation of inspection items agreed upon and completed during a walk-through sometimes.  I am with you on how sad it is that some sellers are A #1 with having a house ready for the bueyrs and others, lets just say "not so much".  

Posted by Kelly Young, Colorado Springs Real Estate ~ 719-226-0126 (The Platinum Group Realtors) over 4 years ago

I did my walk thru of the last home that i personally bought. Walk thru at 9. Closing at 10. Seller had moved out 6 months prior, and moved 3 hours away. The story was they could not attend closing because of the distance.

The home had big ugly red brocaded curtains, and we remarked on them on the walk thru.

We went back after the closing to change locks.... and the curtains were gone.

We hated them, but we would have liked to have curtains. Otr to have known they wanted them.

But no worries, we love our home, and it gives me a funny little way to let my sellers know they cant just DECIDE to take items.

Posted by Brian DeYoung, Brian DeYoung ( Howard Hanna Real Estate Services) over 4 years ago

Joni-This is a major purchase so I would hope Buyers would see the benefit of the final walk through. If the Sellers do the right thing, the final walk through is just one of the last items on the checklist to ownership transfer.

Posted by Wayne Johnson, San Antonio REALTOR, San Antonio Homes For Sale (Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper REALTORS®) over 4 years ago

I remember a buyer discovering a decorative windmill on the front lawn was missing during a walk-thru.  It was not attached, and was classified as "personal" property.  BUT, boy it didn't make it easier for the buyer to accept that.  As I recall, a small commissionectomy by the agents, managed to see it returned to its previous spot on the lawn:-)


Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) over 4 years ago

Joni, the answer to this question should be very helpful to those new with the buying/selling process. Thanks for the post.

Posted by Ralph Gorgoglione, Hawaii and California Real Estate (800) 591-6121 (Maui Life Homes / Metro Life Homes) over 4 years ago

Yes, a final walk-through is a way to ensure nothing was removed, and everything that was supposed to be fixed/left was fixed/left.   The walk through is usually an exciting time since the buyers can't WAIT until closing is over and the house will be theirs.

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (Grand Lux Realty, 914-419-0270, over 4 years ago

Good advice for buyers to do a walk thru before settlement.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) over 4 years ago
Joni - I know we have all seen "things" the seller has left behind that were not to be left behind, and the final walk through is very important part of the entire purchase.
Posted by Carol Zingone, Global Realtor in Jax Beach, FL - ABR, CRS, CIPS (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Florida Network Realty) over 4 years ago

I just wrote an article for the local newspaper about "What is a walk Through?" Its just part of the transaction...nothing personal. Nice feature!

Posted by Gary L. Waters, Broker Owner, Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC, ... a small office, delivering big service! (Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC) over 4 years ago

I believe the the final alk-thru is so important. Even if it was an as-is sale. Somehow it gives closure to both buyer/seller. If possible, I like to have the seller present too.

Posted by Blatt + Cutino, Broker-Associate 831/206-8070*Call today* (Keller Williams Coastal Estates) over 4 years ago

If I represent a seller I want the buyer to have performed a final walk through. I would ask for a copy the walk through and acceptance for our file. If they elected not to do a final walk through I had the form already prepared that they chose not to.

Posted by Richard Weeks, REALTOR®, Broker over 4 years ago

We try to do the final walk thru the day before closing to allow time for adjustments if needed, but it isn't always timely. After years in a home, sellers just have a hard time to pack and leave

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) over 4 years ago
We just had a scheduled closing two weeks ago that fell through during the walk-through. The home had brand new hardwood floors which the seller had raved about to our client. Unfortunately, the movers severely damaged them during the process of moving her contents.
Posted by Bill and MaryAnn Wagner, Jersey Shore and South Jersey Real Estate (Wagner Real Estate Group) over 4 years ago

Hi Joni,

Absolutely, the Buyer has every right to make sure that what they are getting is what they contracted to buy.  Every Buyer should do a walk-through.

Posted by Jeffrey Richman, Lease/Purchase Specialist & Unclaimed Money Player (Immediate Home Solutions & U.S. Financial Funding, LLC) over 4 years ago

I am suprised that someone did not know the answer to that question, but it is best to ask and as a blogger, I glad you formed that question into a blog post.

Posted by Charita Cadenhead, Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama) (Keller Williams Realty) over 4 years ago

Sometimes we have to explain it to the buyers too.  Don't assume buyers and sellers know.   

I explain the inspection, appraisal and walk thru visits at contract to buyers and seller.  They still forget and ask.

Posted by Dee Toohey, Broker, ABR, AHWD, CIPS, FMS, ePro (Innovative Realty Solutions Group) over 4 years ago

Sometimes, there's a really long period of time that passes from contract to closing. A walk through is essential then.

Posted by Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate (Broker Associate, Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. "Said and Done!") over 4 years ago

When I write a contract on what stays, I write the we want the one on property the day we MADE the offer. Not a cheaper fridge just because we said fridge.

Posted by Rob D. Shepherd, Principal Broker ABR, GRI (Windermere/lane county) over 4 years ago

Joni, he a walk-through is an essential aspect of the buying process. It insures the buyer is getting what they purchased and an opportunity to make sure necessary contract items are in working order.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA over 4 years ago


What a great article, people usually think that people will react as they would, follow the golden rule, and "Do unto others as you would have them do  unto you!"  Often that isn't the case, so a final walk through is a very smart thing, especially when condensing units can be stolen, ceiling fans, mirors, chandeliers and even mirrors, fencing and granite countertops can be taken!  I've actually seen all of that.  We went to do a final inspection on a house that had been vandalized to the tune of $25,000 within 3 days of closing.  Imagine if we hadn't done the walk through!

Posted by Jared Garfield, Invest With The Best For The Highest Returns! (Rich Life Real Estate Team) over 4 years ago

I am the type who says it will be done will be done and to me a walk thru is not necessary but then again who am I to tell someone about their own comfort zone?

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) over 4 years ago

Timely reminder for me, as I have 2 walkthroughs scheduled today and completed another one yesterday - yes, its a big closing week for me.

In Georgia, our contracts call for the home to be conveyed in materially the same condition it was when it went under contract - so that is one of the things we check for.  We also check to see that any agreed repairs have been done.  And, of course, to be sure that all agreed appliances and fixtures are still in place.

Posted by Jeanne Dufort, Madison and Lake Oconee GA (Coldwell Banker Lake Country) over 4 years ago

In Delaware, this is part of our Agreement of Sale. "Buyer shall have the responsibility of scheduling a pre-settlement inspection of Property within 48 hours prior to settlement to verify that Property is in the condition required by this Agreement including conditions disclosed and accepted by Buyer elsewhere in this Agreement or by addendum."

Posted by Monica Hill, the REALTOR to help you discover Delaware (RE/Max Associates) over 4 years ago

In 11 years I have only had one buyer who did not do a walk thru; the buyers said their family lived on the same street so need to go and see their new home that morning.  Guess what happened....

We went to closing everything went well and then the buyers went to their new home.  That is when they discovered the central air unit was missing. They called me in a panic, it was August in Missouri with a temp of over 100. Since at closing the buyers signed an affidavit stating they were accepting the property in it's current condition, there was no recourse.

Now I always have a walk thru prior to closing.

Posted by Anna Hatridge, Missouri Realtor with Goodson Realty (Goodson Realty) over 4 years ago

Best example is the concoction of toxic chemicals left under the kitchen sink or in the garage.

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg IL Area Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) over 4 years ago

You are so right.  As long as the seller is doing what they agreed to then no worries.  

Posted by Kim Peasley-Parker (AgentOwned Realty, Heritage Group, Inc.) over 4 years ago

Good idea and very important for all parties involved, including the Realtor..

Posted by Robert Hicks (United Country River City Realty) over 4 years ago

Great article and timely for those who are beginners in this business.  It's best to make sure that the item on the contract are still in the home and that no damage has been made because of the move out.

I had an agent from my old office state that the buyer didn't want a walk through, but right after closing, come to find out the seller had removed the nice chandelier in the foyer, when she called the seller about it, she stated that was something her mother gave her and she decided at the last minute to take it, so of course, the seller was nice enough to buy another chandelier similar to the one she had taken with her.

So the best advance to buyer - have a walk through - Best advance for a seller, go over all the items that are attached to the home and those that aren't - just in case!

Posted by Graziella Bruner, Associate Broker - Serving Wayne & Oakland County (NCS Premier Real Estate) over 4 years ago

Every buyer should do a final walk-through and their agent should insist on it.  You don't want any surprises after closing.

Posted by Don Taber, REALTOR / BROKER / CRS / GRI (Our Town Properties, Inc., Wilson, NC) over 4 years ago

Huh? I thought the buyer would appreciate all the dead furnaces, quarter cans of paint from back in the 1970's that they could reuse, save money. (Smile) Deal with the issues before a closing rather than drag on, get dragged after the sale that leaves a bad taste in the mouth. Of everyone that feels mistreated. Damage control...before the closing. Nip it in the bud.

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) over 4 years ago

Why? Because they want to make sure the kitchen is still there. And I wish I was kidding!

Posted by Cynthia Larsen, Independent Broker Serving Sonoma County, CA (Safe Haven Realty) over 4 years ago

The final walk through will leave no surprises for the buyer, they are essential.

Posted by Donny Carter, Mountain Maryland Real Estate Expert (Carter & Roque Real Estate) over 4 years ago

It is surpising sometimes to learn what people don't know or haven't considered. 

Posted by Marte Cliff, your real estate writer (Marte Cliff Copywriting) over 4 years ago

Always do this. Never had an agent question this. An agent should always prep there sellers to know this is coming. I find it hard to believe that any Buyers agent would write a contract without the walk through clause.

Posted by John Fauth, Turning your dreams into an address! (Coldwell Banker King Thompson) over 4 years ago

Great post and it prevents some odd things in happening, like the W/D and refrigerator suddenly missing.  OOPs or repalced with older units, DUH.

Posted by Ric Mills, Integrity, Honesty, and Vast Real Estate Knowledge (Keller Williams Southern Az) over 4 years ago

It helps to make sure that everything is worked out at closing.  Good post to help them understand.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) over 4 years ago

It is also important to the Buyers to do a walk through to confirm completion of any work required by the Seller, according to the terms of the contract, prior to closing.

Posted by Bette Gottwald, "Bet"on Central PA Real Estate! (UNITED REAL ESTATE | Central PA) over 4 years ago

Our team will try and require the buyer to perform a walk through or at least sign off that they have decided not to perform a walk through.  Tons of protection there for the agent.

Posted by Jay & Michelle Lieberman, Creating Calm in the Buying and Selling Chaos (Keller Williams World Class) over 4 years ago

This is one of the things I cover during my listing appointment, what all the steps are to the escrow process, so they are not concerned. 

Posted by Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner, Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395 (Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395) over 4 years ago

If the seller has done exactly what they were supposed to do and left everything as agreed upon in the listing and contract then the walkthrough is a mere formality, but one that should never be skipped.

Posted by Lora "Leah" Stern 914-772-4528, Real Estate Salesperson (Coldwell Banker, 170 N Main Street, New City NY 10956) over 4 years ago

Yes, this is a great reminder that we need to see things from the eyes of our clients. We sometimes forget that they do not know what CMA, MLS, Walk-thru, PreLim.  Thanks for the blog.

Posted by Terri Woods, Selling Real Estate in San Antonio, Texas & Area (Bexar and Comal Counties) over 4 years ago

It is amazing what a final walk thru can uncover.  How sellers think buyers won't notice things like missing appliances, ceiling fans, wall treatments etc...are gone is beyond me.  Our contracts are extremely detailed but things still sometimes end up vanishing prior to closing.  This was especially true when our market was full of short sales.

Posted by Terry McCarley, REALTOR, SRES, CDPE - Cape Coral, FL (REMAX Realty Team - Cape Coral FL) over 4 years ago

I agree that there needs to be either a verification of property condition or waiver of such prior to closing.   One major concern I always have is when a seller asks for possession for a few days after close.  This is way too common in my market area and I always cringe at the thought of this.  Even if there is a "walk-through" to verify either repairs have been made or certain things are left or in good order it does not guarantee that the property will be left with items agreed upon.  Also, if the sellers have not vacated the home prior to close which is also a typical situation, there can not be a guarantee of the condition.  This is always one of those hold your breath last minute issues that buyers need to be aware of and sellers need to be counseled on.  These are some of the important discussions that buyers agent and sellers agent need to discuss up front as most home sellers and buyers are not aware this can happen. 

Great topic for a post.  

Posted by Teri Pacitto, Real Estate, Your Style...Your Home...My Specialty (Compass) over 4 years ago

Dear Joni -
This is a very important point. You really wrote about the topic very kindly and gently.

A story: One of our Listings excluded the washer/dryer and the refrigerator. (Truth be told, we do that often for a "bargaining point" when price discussions arrive.) The Buyer never brought up the subject so we donated the appliances before Closing. 

In this case, the Buyer's Agent responsibly went to the property just before Closing. Then he saw that the appliances were "missing" and was very upset. He thought the Seller had not complied with the Sales Contract Unfortunately, he hadn't focused on the Seller's Disclosure which listed what stayed and what didn't stay and was attached as part of the Contract. In the end, he took responsibility for his mistake and he purchased a washer/dryer as well as a refrigerator for his Buyer Client. That certainly took a bite out of his commission yet I bet he always read the disclosure carefully after that!

Have a happy day -

Posted by Lynn B. Friedman, Concierge Service for Our Atlanta Sellers & Buyers (Atlanta Homes ODAT Realty Call/Text 404-939-2727 Buckhead - Midtown - Westside -- and more ...) over 4 years ago

Thanks for the well written post and understanding that we can't just assume our clients know what we think everyone would know.  In our area, the contract calls for the home to be delivered broom clean and free of debris and in substantially the same condition as of (contract date, or home inspection date or other date depending on what was specified in the contract.)  How would you kow that's the way it was actually left if they didn't inspect it?

Posted by Elizabeth Bouchard, Associate Broker in Northern Virginia (Long & Foster Realtors) over 4 years ago

Joni, I had a situation a few months back where the buyer asked me to do the final walk-through on new construction. They had mistaken booked a vacation for that date. I explained that I wasn't privy to all the choices made at their design meeting so I felt uncomfortable with that. Good thing I said that. The builder put the kitchen island in the wrong location. The entire kitchen floor needed to be ripped out, the plumbing relocated and the island re-installed. I would not have recognized that the island was in the wrong place. It's always best to do a final walk-through.

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) over 4 years ago

The last time my client did a walk through she was sadly disappointed in herself!  She didn't ask for the washing machine/dryer and fridge.  When she went to the house and they were there, she wished she had.  Good post Joni!

Posted by Carla Muss-Jacobs, Principal Broker (503) 810-7192, Buyer Focused ~ Buyer Results ( | Portland Metro Exclusive Buyers Agent | 100% Buyer Representation ~ 100% of the Time) over 4 years ago

Sometimes things that seem obvious in a person's line of work are not obvious to the general public. You are so right.

Posted by Robert Fowler -, 55+, Active Adult and Retirement Communities (President of Retirement Media Inc.) over 4 years ago

One thing we have encountered is sellers changing out the appliances for older or non functional ones after the inspection.

Home inspectors who use the InterNACHI report presentation kit include a walk through check list that can be very useful in having the buyer focus one last time on the house and not where the furniture is going. Other inspectors and some Realtors have their own I have been told.

"You don't get what you expect, you get what you inspect!" (anon)

Posted by Marshall Brown, BSEE, CHI (Mid America Inspection Services, LLC) over 4 years ago

A client recently asked me to assist in their walk through due to some concerns.  When I arrived, it became apparent why.  Not only did the seller not complete any of the repairs they agreed to, she sold bushes, plants, and even the bricks from the walkway!

Posted by Rafi Footerman, Home Inspector, Mold Inspector, Radon and More! (Mid Jersey Inspections) over 4 years ago

Debbie: Yep! Sometimes that is not the case!

Joan: Oh Wow! I have never seen a damaged driveway or leach field.

Michelle: Here's to things being as they should be!

Rosie: Wow! Two!! You go girl!

Lisa: Oh my gosh. People can be so tacky!

Silvia: Fixtures are actually covered in the listing agreement in Texas. So we cover that when we go over the listing contract.

Joe: It is always a good idea to reinspect any repairs.

Fred: AWESOME! I love a happy ending!! :)

Hella: I could probably count on one hand the number of times the seller happened to be around during a final walk through. It just rarely happens around here.

Margaret: I have no idea! :)

Praful: Most of the time ours are fine, but every now and then.....

Kelly: It reflects poorly on the seller who does not go out of their way to leave the home ready for the new owner to move right in!

Brian: That's just crazy!!


Myrl: We've had some lawn ornaments cause some displeasure before, too! 

Thank you, Ralph.


Posted by Joni Bailey, Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR® (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services - Anderson Properties) over 4 years ago

Kat: I agree. It is usually an exciting time!

Gita: Thank you!

Carol: Yes, we have. Not fun! :(

Gary: Good for you! Great minds think alike!

Angelica: We rarely see a seller at a final walk through.

Richard: Good for you!!

Ed: After years in the home, I can understand. But anything is possible if you set your mind to it!

Bill and Mary Ann: I hope that the seller gets the floors repaired and you are able to work things out.

Jeffrey: Absolutely!

Charita: And the seller had previously been a real estate agent! ?!?!

Dee: It was a great reminder! :)

Jill: It never hurts, even when the closing happens quickly!

Rob: We learn these things the hard way!

Michael: Exactly!

Jared: Oh my! But at least it wasn't the seller who took it! THAT is always a bad thing!!

Richie: But the buyer doesn't know you from Adam. They are wise to check. HA! :)

Jeanne: Congratulations on the closings!! :)


Posted by Joni Bailey, Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR® (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services - Anderson Properties) over 4 years ago

Monica: That's a good thing!

Anna: Another lesson learned the hard way! OH MY!

Lyn: YIKES! I haven't had that one happen!!

Kim :)

Robert - Right on!

Graziella: As agents we go over all of this at the time of the listing and STILL people do not listen! :(

Don: Right!

Andrew! I love it! Damage Control!!

Cynthia: OH NO!!

Donny: Exactly!

Marte: I know!!

John: Right.


Gene: Thank you!

Bette: Exactly!

Jay and Michelle: Great practice!

Karen: Since we go over so many things at the listing and people tend to forget, I like to cover this when we are going over the sales contract as it is closer to the time that it will actually happen.


Terri: I've never had this question before. Not once in 10 years. And this time it was from a person who had been a real estate agent. HA! Crazy!

Lynn: OUCH!

Elizabeth: That's right. How else would they know?

Tammie: WOW! And you would have never known!! 

Carla: :((( 

Robert: Thank you!

Marshall: Love the quote!

Rafi: UNBELIEVABLE! That's nuts!!


Posted by Joni Bailey, Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR® (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services - Anderson Properties) over 4 years ago

Yep, I had a Seller leave sort of a mess and due to Buyers driving in from out-of-state and running late, we didn't get the walk-thru. Some stuff left in cabinets, but I told Buyer that some might actually be worth a little which would offset their time to clean up.

Posted by Travis "the SOLD man" Parker; Associate Broker, email: / cell: 334-494-7846 (Team Linda Simmons, Enterprise, AL 36330) over 4 years ago
I wonder if a final walk thru should be in writing as part of the offer or an addendum?
Posted by Cary Jo Hofstad, Cary Jo, Hofstad, Broker, Blue Sky Realty LLC (Blue Sky Realty, LLC) over 4 years ago



Thanks for a great article! Walking through the property and inspecting are necessary. I just cannot believe that people do not take advantage of this opportunity to make sure that everything is working properly. Having an official inspection is great since inspectors know what to look for that sometimes people could overlook.

One of my customers did not request the final walk through, and he ended up having issues since some items were missing.





Posted by Joe Vonwaldner (49th Street Bail Bonds) over 4 years ago

Great post. If I've learned anything in this business is to never, never take for granted that buyer or seller know how the process works or why it's done a certain way.

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (RE/MAX Executive | Charlotte, NC) over 4 years ago

There are sellers who chum up to buyers after the contract and try to avoid the walk thru becasue they intend to steal things that do not beelong to them. I have seen them take out light bulbs. A walk thru is MANDATORY.

Posted by Jimmy Faulkner, The Best Of St. Augustine (Florida. Homes Realty & Mortgage) over 4 years ago

This is just as important to the buyers as a home inspection...

Posted by Ronald DiLalla, No. Orange Cty Real Estate (Century 21 Discovery DRE 01813824) over 4 years ago
Joni, my buyers and I did a final walk through a few months ago. The washer and dryer were suppose to convey, but were missing doing the last walk through. The buyers received money at closing to replace if we didn't do the walk through ....
Posted by Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®, Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate (Perry Wellington Realty, Adam Conrad, Broker) over 4 years ago

I always put a clause in the agreement that the buyer has an additional re visit (walk through) prior to closing which I like to do a few days before closing. If there is an issue it will usually be rectified prior to closing which results in everything proceeding smoothly as it shoud.

Posted by Steven Murray, Broker, SRES® IRES SRS Toronto Real Estate Board, Your Durham Region Real Estate Broker (COLDWELL BANKER R.M.R., Brokerage) over 4 years ago

The Final Walk Thru also helps give buyers peace of mind right before closing.  It really helps to verify that the property is in proper condition and nothing there is missing and no junk is left behind.

Posted by Andrew Payne Realtor® Richmond VA Homes For Sale~804-938-5257~, Richmond, VA, Real Estate, SRES®, NAR Green (Virginia Capital Realty) over 4 years ago

Hi Joni,

You are so right. I totally agree with you. Thank you for blogging. It has really helped me.

Have a great holiday season,

Trisha Bush

Posted by Trisha Bush-LeFore, Providing Realtor Services in the Walla Walla Area (Preferred Properties Land & Homes) over 4 years ago

We agree Joni, any buyer/agent who does not do a final walk through is asking for a headache.

Posted by Bob Miller, The Ocala Dream Team (Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty) over 4 years ago

I could not imagine ever closing without a final walk thru.  I am sure that there are some instances when the home may be a tear-down or beyond repair, but even then, I want to make sure that it is still there!

Posted by Marnie Matarese, Showing you the best of Sarasota! (DWELL REAL ESTATE) over 4 years ago