What is a Final Walkthrough?


Purchasing a home in Florida marks a significant milestone in one’s life. It’s a process filled with excitement, anticipation, and, admittedly, a fair share of complexity. Among the final steps before sealing the deal is the final walkthrough. This critical step is more than a mere formality; it is an opportunity to ensure that the property you’re about to call home meets your expectations and is in the condition agreed upon. Please continue reading and reach out to our seasoned Florida real estate & title insurance attorneys to learn more.

What is the final walkthrough when purchasing a home?

The final walkthrough is an inspection performed by the buyer, typically a day or two before the closing date. It’s the last chance to verify that the property’s condition hasn’t changed since the initial agreement and that any repairs agreed upon by the seller have been completed. Unlike a formal inspection, which is more about uncovering hidden issues, the final walkthrough is about confirming that the home is exactly as you expect it to be before taking ownership.

What are 10 things I should look out for during my final walkthrough?

Just some of the most important things to look out for when attending your final walkthrough are as follows:

  1. Operational Systems: Check that the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are functioning correctly.
  2. Appliances: Ensure all included appliances are operational and in the condition expected.
  3. Repairs: Verify that all agreed-upon repairs have been completed satisfactorily.
  4. Plumbing: Test faucets, toilets, and showers for proper operation and look for leaks.
  5. Electrical: Confirm that light fixtures, switches, and outlets are working.
  6. Doors and Windows: Open and close all doors and windows to ensure they operate smoothly.
  7. Floors: Look for any new damage to flooring that may have occurred since your last visit.
  8. Walls and Ceilings: Check for any signs of water damage or new cosmetic damage.
  9. Exterior: Inspect the property’s exterior for any changes or issues.
  10. Personal Property: Make sure that all items included in the sale are present and that the seller’s personal property has been removed.

What legal considerations should I keep in mind?

Florida statutes require sellers to disclose certain property conditions that materially affect value but might not be readily observable to buyers (Florida Statutes, Section 475.278). This underscores the importance of a thorough final walkthrough; discovering undisclosed issues before closing can save you from unforeseen legal and financial headaches later.

Moreover, the Florida Bar Association provides standardized contracts that often include provisions related to the final walkthrough. These provisions typically allow buyers to confirm that the property’s condition complies with the terms of the contract. Should issues arise during the final walkthrough, these contracts often outline the steps that must be taken to address these concerns, potentially including the right to delay closing until satisfactory resolution.

Ultimately, by approaching this step with the seriousness it deserves, you can take comfort in knowing that the property you’re purchasing is exactly as you expect it to be, laying a solid foundation for your new beginning.