Should your Buyer do a Walk-Through or Waive it?
One of the major events of a purchase of a home is the final walk-through or in our state called “Verification of Property”. When I first started real estate, it was an event that always took place but not so much anymore. With properties selling as-is or real estate owned, many agents waive this step. California's “VP” form; there is even a box now you can check if your client wants to waive the walk-through.
What is a Walk-Through?
1. What is a walk-through? It is a final inspection by the buyer and their agent to verify the property is in the same condition or better than the time they submitted their offer.
2. Repairs Completed? If there has been a request for repairs by the buyer or appraiser, this is the time to verify the repairs have been completed.
3. Anything missing? This is where you would notice if the beautiful Viking stainless steel range has been replaced with a floor model white stove or missing completely. The beautiful chandelier that was hanging in the dining room is gone and a simple $30 light is hanging in its place. Or the MLS said the washer and dryer was included in the sale and in the contract, but when you arrive you find the washer and dryer are gone.
4. Trash and Debris Removed- The seller’s agent confirms that all trash and personal property will be removed off the property but when you arrive, it is still there; this includes hazardous waste products such as paint, gasoline, oil, antifreeze, old batteries, computer monitors, old broken doors and windows, all the wood and pipes piled up on the side of the house.
What is not done at a Walk-Through?
1. Request more repairs just because you feel it is necessary or looks bad. This is the way it looked when you put in the offer.
2. Ask for other things to be left with the house. The contract was the contract and this is not the time to be amending it especially when it is not in writing.
3. Talk to the tenants about modifying their rents or handing them a new lease agreement. The property has not closed yet so it is not the time to do this. Meet and greet is appropriate, exchange phone numbers and emails but the rest should take place after the property has funded and recorded.
Should you waive the walk-through?
1. What does your client want?This is something you should discuss with them as this is the last time your client will be checking the property before the transfer of ownership occurs. If there anything that needs to be checked on? Are they worried about something or does your client tell you he/she is too busy and that it is fine to not do it. This is where your conversation log comes into play and an email asking them this very question so you have the waiver in writing in case it falls apart later. And in California, we have the waiver box on the form itself that the client would check and sign.
2. What do you think your client should do? Do you have any worries or questions about something at the property? It is never good to worry your client but it is always good to check on something if you truly have a concern. Go by yourself and verify if that 6th sense is telling you that you to check on something. Then, if all is OK, and your client wants to waive, you will feel better about doing it. This is especially easy if the property is vacant.
3. Does it conflict with your schedule? You would like to take your client to the property but just too busy? This should not be a reason to waive the inspection. If you truly have a conflict, get a fellow agent to go with your client and later take then out for a nice lunch or a gift card to Starbucks.
4. Your client lives in another part of the state. So go yourself in place of your client and take some digital pictures to prove later you did check. This may be the thing that puts you over the top from other agents and your client will refer you to others or remember you when he/she wants to buy another investment home or condo for their adult child attending school nearby. Do it because it is the right thing to do and just because it is not convenient for them to drive 500 miles, you can drive across town and later reassure your client by email and telephone.
5. Should the listing agent go too? My last two closings, I was the listing agent and I went also and we all signed a few last documents. It closed the next morning and everything was done. There are times I do not personally meet the other agent until the walk-through so it is always nice to meet and greet.
Summary: As the buyer’s agent, only you can decide what to say or not say to your buyer but I always go on the walk-through and usually it is fine but once in a while there is an issue and something needs to be removed or brought back. If you fail to discuss it thoroughly and just ask your client to “sign here” later down the road, they are going to blame you, their Realtor. So do not be so quick to waive it. I just feel if I have to go by myself, I can be in and out in less than 5 minutes and then I have peace of mind and so does my buyer.
Where is the washer and dryer?
And the sellers promised to remove all the trash and debris!
There was a microwave here at the home inspection!
Where is the beautiful Stainless Steel stove?
The Compressor was here last week and the AC was working fine? What happened?
As an agent, what is your normal practice; go, waive or both?
I sell real estate in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties; Loma Linda, Palm Springs, La Quinta, Rancho Mirage, Redlands, Highland, Colton, Yucaipa, San Bernardino and all other cites in California. I am a trained and experienced Short Sale agent. If you are looking for a professional and experienced agent, I am just a click away. Google me at Kristin Hamilton-Real Estate Agent. Homeowners and Buyers both will find my services top notch and successful. Call me to sell your home; both traditional and short sales.
I am waiting for your call! 909-557-6966. Google me at Kristin Hamilton.
My name is Kristin Hamilton and I sell Real Estate. Call me for all your real estate needs. If you want to sell your home, call Kristin @909-557-6966 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
This post was authored and or picture was taken by Kristin Hamilton. ©2012, All Rights Reserved, This content may not be reproduced or reprinted (Except for ActiveRain Re-blogging) without express written permission of Kristin Hamilton, Keller Williams Realty, Redlands, CA.
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