It takes around 70 days, from listing to closing, to buy or sell a home. When you’re in the middle of packing up, you don’t want to forget anything on your checklist for the final walkthrough. This guide will help you prepare for the whole house moving process.

Keep reading to learn how to prepare for a final walkthrough before you move out.    

What’s a Final Walkthrough?

A final walkthrough is a process where the buyer and seller (and real estate agent, if you so choose) take one last physical tour of the home before closing the sale. It’s not the same as a formal home inspection.

At this time, the property should have been professionally inspected, and repairs should be finished. 

Depending on your state, sellers might be required to give buyers the chance to do a final inspection up to 3 days before the sale’s closing date. At this time, the buyer is encouraged to reference any notes, photos, or details from previous showings or the contract to make sure nothing has changed and any necessary repairs, cleanings, or other services are done. 

Why Should I Do One? 

You need to leave your home in good, “broom clean” condition. Additionally, your belongings should be gone except for the fixtures. Broom clean condition means the area should be clutter-free, vacuumed, swept, and/or mopped.

When the house is still furnished, it may not look too dirty, but as soon as it’s empty, you’ll notice all of the areas you haven’t seen or neglected. Picture frame spots, cooking messes, dirt in the window sills, the bottoms of drawers and cabinets, and so on. 

Once you see it, it can’t be unseen, and with the closing date so soon, do you really have the time for cleaning the house before moving? Save time and energy with professional move out cleaning services

What If I Leave Something Important Behind?

In the unfortunate event you leave something behind once you’ve moved out of your old place, it can be tricky to get back. If you’ve closed the sale on your home, all the possessions inside then legally belong to the new homeowner. 

If the seller attempts to enter the home to retrieve a personal item after the closing of the sale, it’s considered trespassing, a felony in many states. The new homeowner has the legal authority to grant or deny you access to take what you left behind.

Fixtures vs Personal Property

Along the same lines, both you and the person buying the house should understand the difference between personal property and fixtures. Generally, personal property is any removable item or possession that isn’t necessary for the home’s structure. Fixtures are permanently attached, essential, or when removal takes great effort. 

While it varies from state to state, you can use the acronym MARIA to determine what’s a fixture that must stay and what you can remove.

MARIA stands for method of attachment (items attached by piping, glue, nails/screws, or cement); adaptability (something that has become integral); relationship (the buyer typically has the final say in what is or isn’t a fixture); intention (whether the seller intended for an item to be permanent at the time of installation); agreement (understand between buyer and seller of what is and isn’t a fixture).

For example, a koi pond can’t be moved, so it’s a fixture, but the fish can, so they’re personal property. This information is vital if you have to settle a dispute during your final walkthrough. 

It’s The Final Walkthrough 

The final walkthrough process is an important step for buyers and sellers alike. Take that opportunity to ensure the place is spotless, all of your important items are with you, and that you’re only taking personal property and not fixtures. 

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