As an investor and Realtor, I’ve seen some tricks by sellers. In this article, I’ll provide you my perspective on what to look for when conducting a final walk-through.
What to Look for in a Walk-Through When Buying Property
As a Realtor, I have a fiduciary responsibility to my buyer. I must be the eyes and ears of the transaction. I also have to understand what the seller desires. This can become difficult to navigate, but as long as the client’s best interest is represented, then the Realtor’s job is done.
Let’s discuss what a buyer needs to look for when doing a final walk-through. I have noted seven items in particular. These are not in the order of importance. However, all items can determine the likelihood of whether an acquisition will be disastrous or profitable.
An infestation can be something as harmful as ants or as detrimental as bed bugs or termites. Remediation of an infestation can be as simple as going to your local home supply store. But in the worst case scenario, fixing this type of problem could cost thousands. I highly recommend being proactive and having an inspection completed.
In the past, I was surprised when walking a potential flip and discovering the house was infested with bees. The picture below does not express the magnitude of the bee colony and hive, which spanned the entire inner wall.
Being cognizant of water damage can save you thousands. It’s important to look in areas where water might be evident, especially if there’s an indication of an aging roof.
Examine the ceilings for water spots. Other key areas to check are around the water heater and under sinks.
In regions where properties have basements, I suggest looking for moisture around baseboards and water lines on the dry wall or block walls.
Asbestos, Mold, & Lead-Based Paint
In most states, if not all, these are disclosure items. That means, by law if the seller is aware or there’s evidence of any one of these three issues, it must be disclosed to the buyer.
In the past, a real estate transaction hinged on the premise of “buyer beware.” With new state regulations, there’s an effort to protect the buyer. Asbestos, mold, and lead paint disposal must meet certain environmental disposal regulations. Therefore, the fees associated with remediation and disposal are higher than traditional disposals due to the carcinogens in the materials.
Plumbing and Electrical
Plumbing and electrical are possibly the most critical components to inspect. Utilizing a professional home inspector and having a contractor review the systems is essential. In older homes, cast iron piping is something that needs to be replaced for the functionality of the plumbing.
Also, in older homes, knob and tube electrical or buss fuses are problematic. Rewiring or upgrading the electrical will cost thousands of dollars, which can blow a rehab budget quickly.
For the above reasons, these seven items need to be evaluated prior to purchasing a property. But there are many more items, such as roofing, foundation, and other structural issues, that are critical to check, as well. For that reason, my suggestion to my clients is always to have a professional home inspection done.
Have I missed any items that should be inspected?
List them in the comment section below.