Typically, you’d check thing like making sure appliances have not been removed, no leaks in plumbing, no new stains on carpet and damage done during move-out. Get our full Walk-Through Checklist here.
Surprise! it’s a sinkhole…
A couple of years ago, we had a big surprise when the buyer’s agent met the buyer of our listing just before closing. I had been to the house a couple of days earlier to check that some work had been completed. I didn’t look in the backyard when I was there.
On the day of closing, the buyer’s agent called me and said: “what is the seller doing about the hole in the backyard?” I had no idea what she was talking about but happened to be close by. When I got to the house, we all stood in amazement looking at a huge sinkhole that had just appeared in the backyard!
Seeing the sinkhole made the buyers nervous about buying the house. They wondered if there were other areas where this could happen, and how this could be fixed.
The seller was taking care of the sale for his mother who had lived in the home for over 10 years since the home was new. Apparently, the builder had buried some trees in the backyard and as they decayed, created the sinkhole. The hole was approximately 5’ across and at least 4’ deep!
I called a landscaper and send photos of the hole. The buyer called his landscaper and we were all trying to figure out what the cost would be to get the problem resolved. All the while, the closing was scheduled minutes away!
Fortunately, with the cooperation of the buyer and seller, we were able to come to an agreement. They determined an amount that would be satisfactory to both parties, so they were able to close.
Final walk-through before closing
Don’t skip this step! It’s easy to think that nothing changed but you never know for sure unless you check for yourself! I always remember this story when closing on a vacant home. It’s a great example of why you always need to double check the home before closing.
Items to check during the final walk-through