What should you look for during a walk-through of the property you are about to buy?

The following is a checklist you might want to take to your prospective home when you conduct a walk-through (frequently, the Realtor will accompany you or, for a fee, you can have the inspector join you). This list is intended only to help you with the process, and may not include everything you should examine in your new home.

You should bring a copy of the inspection report, to check that all items flagged by the inspector have been repaired. It also helps to bring a small night light to plug into outlets around the house to ensure that all electrical sockets are working.

OUTSIDE THE HOME, CHECK:

  • All landscaping, to be sure it is in healthy condition.
  • Sheds, swing sets or other items you will be buying with the home, that they are still there and in good condition.
  • Doors, to detect any damage that may have occurred as the seller moved out.
  • Doorbell, that it works, along with any intercom system or garage door opener.
  • Outside lights, that they work.

In the living room, family room, and bedrooms, Check:

  •  Walls and floors that may have been blocked by furnishings, carpeting or stored items earlier.
  •  Doors and windows, including that all blinds or window treatments work properly.
  •  Flooring, to ensure it is in the same condition as when you saw the house.
  •  Lights and fans
  •  Outlets
  •  Fireplace, if your home has one.

In the kitchen, Check:

  •  All appliances, to ensure they are working properly.
  •  Sinks, to ensure the water runs properly and at the right temperature, and doesn’t leak in the drain lines below.
  •  Cabinets, that they don’t have additional damage or missing hardware since you saw the house.
  •  Flooring, to check for loose tiles not previously evident.
  •  Windows and doors
  •  Lights and fans
  •  Outlets

In all bathrooms, Check:

  •  Toilets, to be sure they flush.
  •  Sinks, to ensure the water runs properly and at the right temperature, and doesn’t leak in the drain lines below or clog improperly.
  •  Bathtubs and showers, to ensure the water runs properly and at the right temperature, and doesn’t clog improperly.
  •  Plumbing fixtures, to look for physical damage that was not apparent earlier.
  •  Flooring, to check for loose tiles not previously evident.
  •  Windows and doors
  •  Lights and fans
  •  Outlets

Other:

  •  Test and make sure there are proper smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors where applicable.
  •  Check that the air conditioner and heat work, by changing the setting and ensuring the unit responds.
  •  If the house has a swimming pool, check that the pump works properly.
  •  If the house has automatic sprinklers, check that they work properly.
  •  If the house has a screened patio, check that the screening and doors are in the same condition as when you saw the house.