The final walk-through is not merely a formality but a pivotal moment in the home buying and selling process. This step offers buyers a last opportunity to verify the property’s condition before completing the transaction, while sellers can ensure they’ve fulfilled their contractual obligations. Neglecting this crucial step can lead to unexpected issues after closing, such as overlooked repairs, which may cost the new owner time and money to resolve. Whether you’re buying or selling, this checklist will guide you through all essential checks to perform during your final walk-through, ensuring that no detail is overlooked.

For Buyers

1. Timing and Tools
– Schedule: The walk-through typically occurs 24 hours before closing.
– Tools: Bring a checklist, a notepad, your contract, and any inspection summaries. A smartphone or camera can be useful for documenting issues.

2. General Condition
– Cleanliness: The home should be clean and free from debris.
– Personal items: Ensure all the seller’s personal belongings have been removed, unless otherwise agreed upon.

3. Repairs
– Agreed Repairs: Confirm all repairs agreed upon after the inspection have been completed satisfactorily.
– Receipts and Warranties: Ask for receipts and warranties related to recent repairs or appliance purchases.

4. Appliances and Systems
– Functionality: Check all appliances, heating and cooling systems, and water systems (taps, toilets, water heater) to make sure they are working.
– Manuals and Warranties: Ensure you have all manuals and warranty documents for appliances and systems.

5. Windows and Doors
– Operation: Open and close all windows and doors to check for smooth operation.
– Locks and Latches: Verify that all locks and latches are functioning properly.

6. Electrical
– Light Fixtures: Test all light switches and fixtures.
– Outlets: Test multiple outlets using a small appliance or outlet tester.

7. Plumbing
– Leaks: Check under sinks, around toilets, and around appliances like dishwashers and refrigerators for signs of leaks.
– Drainage: Run water in all sinks, showers, and tubs to check for clogs or slow drainage.

8. Exterior and Grounds
– Landscaping: Check that the landscaping is left as agreed and that there are no new issues.
– Structures: Inspect sheds, decks, and other structures to ensure they are in good condition.

9. Final Utilities Check
– Service Status: Ensure that all utilities are functioning and in your name post-closing.

For Sellers

1. House Preparation
– Repairs: Complete all agreed-upon repairs and keep documentation.
– Cleaning: Thoroughly clean the house and remove all personal belongings, unless specifically agreed otherwise. Ensuring the property is clean and cleared can prevent funds being held in escrow at the closing table until items are removed.

2. Light Bulbs, Electrical Outlets, Appliance Checks and Smoke Detectors

Light Bulbs
– Check Functionality: Test all light fixtures and bulbs throughout the home to ensure they are operational. This includes exterior and interior lights, closet lights, and security lighting. Non-working light bulbs should be replaced to avoid giving the impression that there may be electrical problems.

Door Locks. Security Systems and Communication Devices

Door Locks
– Check Functionality: Inspect and test all door locks to ensure they operate smoothly and securely. This includes deadbolts, handle locks, and any digital or smart locks present. Replace or repair any locks that are not functioning properly to guarantee both security and compliance with the terms of sale.

Security Systems
– System Check: Activate and test the security system to confirm that all components, including sensors, alarms, and cameras, are working effectively. Verify that the system is correctly connected to any monitoring services and that all settings are correctly configured according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
– Codes and Information: Provide all necessary codes, operating manuals, and contact information for security monitoring services to the new owner to ensure a seamless transition.

Door Buzzers and Intercoms
– Operational Test: Thoroughly test door buzzers and intercom systems to ensure they function correctly. This includes checking their responsiveness, sound clarity, and connection to the main system. For intercoms, ensure that the audio is clear and the video feed (if applicable) is sharp and stable.
– Maintenance Check: Inspect these devices for any signs of wear and tear or technical issues. Address any problems by repairing or updating components as needed. This ensures the equipment is reliable and meets the expected security standards.
– Documentation and Settings: Update all settings and provide the new owner with necessary documentation on how to operate and troubleshoot the devices. Include contact information for support or service if these systems are under a maintenance contract.

Electrical Outlets
– Inspection: Test all outlets to confirm they are functional using a small appliance like a phone with charger or hair dryer. This simple test can help identify any issues that need to be addressed.

Appliance Checks
– Operational Test: Turn on each appliance to make sure it operates as expected. This includes the stove, oven, microwave, refrigerator, dishwasher, washer, and dryer. Run a brief cycle where applicable (e.g., set the oven to heat to a particular temperature, run the dishwasher on a short cycle).

– Maintenance Review: Check for signs of maintenance issues like leaks, unusual noises, or incomplete cycles which could indicate a problem.

Smoke Detectors
– Functionality Test: Test all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they are working correctly. This can usually be done by pressing the test button on each unit. Replace any batteries if necessary, and ensure that units are not past their expiration date.

– Placement Verification: Confirm that detectors are properly placed throughout the home, including on each level and near all sleeping areas, as per safety guidelines.

3. Plumbing

– Leaks and Drains: Check all plumbing fixtures for leaks, including faucets, pipes under sinks, toilets, and appliances like dishwashers and washing machines. Run water to ensure that drains are clearing properly without backups.
– Water Heater: Ensure the water heater is functioning correctly and set at an appropriate temperature. Look for any signs of rust or leakage.
– Sump Pump: If applicable, test the sump pump by pouring water into the pit to make sure it activates and pumps out water efficiently. This check ensures that the pump is capable of preventing basement flooding and mitigating water damage, which is crucial in maintaining the home’s foundation and overall integrity.
– Outdoor Spigots: Test outdoor spigots and irrigation systems to ensure they are operational and free of leaks.
– Documentation: Provide the buyer with any warranties or maintenance records for the plumbing systems, especially for any recent repairs or replacements.

4. Final Touches
– Trash and Debris: Remove all trash and debris from the property.
– Keys and Codes: Prepare all sets of keys, garage openers, and codes and ensure they are ready to hand over.

5. Final Readings
– Utility Meters: Schedule a final water meter reading with the water company well in advance of the final walk-through. Provide documentation of the reading to your attorney to ensure accurate billing. Also, provide the buyer with a list of utility companies and service providers to facilitate a seamless transfer of services.

Manuals and Warranties
– Organize Documents: Leave all necessary manuals, warranties, and receipts for the buyer.


The final walk-through is a critical step in the real estate transaction, crucial for ensuring that all parties fulfill their obligations with confidence. Buyers should meticulously inspect the property and report any discrepancies immediately to their attorney. Sellers should verify that the property meets the agreed-upon conditions to prevent last-minute disputes and the potential holding of funds in escrow. Bringing documented proof of repairs—such as receipts, photos, and video recordings—to the closing can help avoid delays and ensure a smooth process. This diligence is key to a successful transaction, making it essential for both buyers and sellers to approach this step with the utmost care and attention to detail. Remember, this is your final opportunity to address any concerns, so it is crucial to be thorough and proactive. If you have any doubts about what to check, consider enlisting a professional to assist with the walk-through.