Should a home buyer do a pre-closing walkthrough prior to purchasing a home?
We get that question from time to time. My answer is always the same.
“Yes. I believe you should do a walkthrough of your home before closing.”
We see people say Buyer walkthrough, walk through and Buyer walk thru… No matter how you spell it, the answer is still the same. Just do it.
Our current residential real estate purchase contract is pretty clear on when and why a buyer would want to do a walkthrough.
Section 6l lines 298-301 of the current Arizona residential real estate resale purchase contract states the following:
6l. 298. Walkthrough(s): Seller grants Buyer and Buyer’s inspector(s) reasonable access to conduct walkthrough(s) of the Premises for
299. the purpose of satisfying Buyer that any corrections or repairs agreed to by Seller have been completed, and the Premises are
300. in substantially the same condition as of the date of Contract acceptance. If Buyer does not conduct such walkthrough(s), Buyer
301. releases Seller and Broker(s) from liability for any defects that could have been discovered.
Yes, a buyer can do more than one walkthrough, if necessary. Talk to your agent / broker for specific reasons and timing, etc. They should be able to help you through the process.
Typically, the walkthrough is pretty quick and easy. The Seller provides receipts for any repairs agreed upon during the due-dilligence period and the buyer verifies their completion. Remember, this is NOT a time to be looking for additional repairs that you would like to have completed.
Per the terms of our standard contract, the Seller had agreed to keep the home in “substantially the same condition” as it was when the contract was signed. So, even if repairs were NOT requested or needed, it makes sense to make sure the home is in “substantially the same condition” as it was when the contract was signed.
You’ll notice a few things that might bring up more questions.
- 1. Can multiple walkthroughs be done?
- 2. When should a buyer perform a walkthrough of the property?
- 3. Is a buyer required to do a walkthrough of the home before closing?
When Should A Buyer Do A Walkthrough?
Typically, the buyer will conduct their pre-closing walkthrough at least three days prior to the scheduled close of escrow date. This applies to the majority of our purchase contracts. A buyer is not “required” to perform a walkthrough, but it is very common and seems kind of foolish NOT to do one.
Here in Arizona, we have a specific form that is called a BUYER PRE-CLOSING WALKTHROUGH form. That particular form is used to let all parties know one of three things.
- 1. That the Buyer finds the home to be in “substantially the same condition as of the date of Contract acceptance.” It also says that “any corrections or repairs agreed to by Seller have been completed.”
- 2. If the Buyer finds that any of the repairs have not been done properly or if the condition of the property has changed, the items will be listed in section 2. If that is the case, the form acts as a CURE PERIOD NOTICE which puts the Seller on notice to remedy the items prior to close of escrow. The Buyer does have the option to close escrow without the repairs being done. Of course, this scenario brings up more options. We are happy to discuss those options with you.
- 3. The Buyer can choose, in writing, to waive the right to view the property before closing. That seems foolish and risky to me. Again, we are happy to discuss this option.
Please note: As your REALTOR®, I can NOT do the final walkthrough for you. I am happy to be with you, but if you are not in the state or if you “do not have time” to visit the property prior to closing, you’ll want to get a personal representative, a family member or a friend to take your place.
Here’s a good FAQ page from the Arizona Association of REALTORS® that talks about the “Buyer Pre-Closing Walkthrough.” It is helpful and informative.
This article is NOT intended to provide legal advise. Nick Bastian is NOT an attorney. Some of the statements on this page are my opinion and some are taken from the current Arizona Association of REALTOR’S® residential real estate purchase contract.
As always, please feel free to call to discuss any aspect of buying or selling a home.