I purchased a home located a few hours from where I currently live. I had a home inspection and was satisfied with the report. Is it necessary for me to do a final walk-through?
Since you had a home inspection done, I anticipate that the home will be used as a residence. Unless you intend to tear it down and rebuild, I strongly recommend that you complete a final walk-through of the property.
Given average closings range anywhere from 30 to 90-plus days in Ontario, some time has likely passed since the inspection. The final walk-through will give you an opportunity to confirm that everything is in place and in the same condition as was noted at the time of the inspection.
Ask your salesperson to co-ordinate and attend your visit to guide you through the process. Their expertise will help you to understand what you should be looking for. Authorizing permission for a final walk-through is a common clause included in many agreements. Your agreement of purchase and sale (APS) may already include provisions that allow the visit to take place.
During your visit, you will want to confirm that all items included in your APS are present and in the condition agreed upon at the time of purchase. This involves confirming that included appliances are in working condition and are the ones agreed to, toilets are functioning, taps and water sources are performing as expected, and all major mechanical and electrical systems are fully operational, as applicable.
Many salespeople will protect their client’s interests by recording appliance brand names and model numbers in the APS. This can help to eliminate discrepancies after the keys are exchanged. As the buyer, you are also welcome to record this type of information.
It’s also a good idea to take photos of anything that you feel needs to be addressed, or if there is anything you would like to document. As a courtesy, it is advisable to notify the listing representative that you may take photos.
In the event an issue is present, it is during the final walk-through that you should discuss it with your salesperson and the lawyer handling your transaction. This is especially important for recent and unexpected issues that may require the seller’s insurance coverage to rectify, such as new water damage or uncovered problems. In such cases, both parties, with their lawyer’s involvement, need to agree to a solution and action must be taken prior to the scheduled closing date.
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Joseph Richer is Registrar of the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO). He is in charge of the administration and enforcement of all rules that govern real estate professionals in Ontario. You can find more tips at reco.on.ca, follow on Twitter @RECOhelps or on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/RECOhelps.