A walkthrough can be a thrilling time for buyers as they finally get to see firsthand what they’ve been anticipating for weeks, sometimes months, repeatedly redecorating in their heads and what will soon be theirs for real. But it’s not always a breeze for the seller. (With HouseMax, it really is a breeze — but we’ll get to that later!)
If you are selling your home, a traditional property walkthrough can be both stressful and bittersweet. While you may be thankful to start your next chapter, there’s a lot to consider. And if it all seems overwhelming, time-consuming and stressful? That’s where HouseMax comes in, paying cash for houses.
Let’s explore what a typical walkthrough is, why it’s critical in the home buying and selling process, and steps you can take to ensure it is a walkthrough in the park.
Elements of a Standard Property Walkthrough?
In a traditional home sale, a walkthrough is the last milestone before closing on a house, where a buyer visually inspects the property to ensure that what they are buying is in the same condition as when they first saw it and to check on the completion of any negotiated repairs or replacements that were agreed upon to be made.
A typical walkthrough (not the HouseMax way, which pays cash for houses) usually includes all the potential buyers, as well as the agent representing the buyers. Buyers can also choose to bring in a parade of experts that might include various inspectors, a general contractor, repair people like plumbers or electricians — the list goes on!
Thankfully, as a seller, you don’t have to be a spectator at this parade, as walkthroughs are usually scheduled when sellers are out of the house. But arranging to be out of your home for a day is sometimes easier said than done. As the closing of your house approaches, you already have your own giant list of things to do before you go. And, if you have kids or pets, the last thing you want to do is start looking for childcare or pet sitting.
In the traditional selling process, a walkthrough is one of the last steps before new owners officially take possession of the home. It’s the final visit after a myriad of visitors in your home — you’ll have realtors, open houses, potential buyer visits, inspectors, and then finally the walkthrough. But With HouseMax, there’s only one walkthrough, and the only visitor is HouseMax.
Preparation Required for a Traditional Property Walkthrough
Going the traditional route? Here’s what you can do to ensure a smooth transition and a successful walkthrough. And you can also refer to our 10 Spring Maintenance Tips for Getting a house ready to sell for more ideas on preparing for the final walkthrough.
Ensure all requested repairs are completed
The property walkthrough typically takes place post-inspection — after you, as the seller, have been made aware of the repairs on your plate. Some repairs may be negotiated for the new owners to handle, but you’ll want to confirm that all your items are complete. In advance of the walkthrough, review that post-inspection to-do list and make sure all repairs you’re responsible for are finished.
Replace light bulbs
We all remember that feeling as a kid: Nothing is more frustrating than getting a new toy, only to find out the batteries weren’t included. The same goes for a house. Try to replace broken or burned out bulbs. If you have any special lighting, leaving a list corresponding to the location and type of bulb can be helpful. If you still have the bulb boxes, you can write labels directly on those boxes.
Leave extra keys, manuals, and warranties
Leave any manuals for appliances like washers, dryers, refrigerators, or other things you have agreed to leave where they can easily be found. You can put them all in one stack, or leave them on top of each appliance. Any extra keys can be labeled and put in an envelope on a counter. Don’t forget to leave any garage or gate remotes with the keys!
Be upfront about any damage or changes
No one likes surprises. Dinging a wall or scraping a floor when moving out and lifting heavy furniture is common. If this happens, make sure to disclose it. The same goes with any changes you’ve made post-inspection.
Leave items you’ve agreed to leave
Don’t be tempted to throw any item agreed upon during negotiations onto your moving truck. If there is something you decide you want to keep, communicate thoroughly.
Don’t leave stuff behind
Other than anything you have agreed to leave behind, the house, garage, and storage sheds should be left empty. Dispose of all things like used paint cans and unused cleaning chemicals, gardening supplies, etc. When you do these last-minute checks, you may find something you didn’t want to leave behind.
Create a list of vendors
We all have vendors we love (and those we’ve learned to stay away from!). If you have the name of a great contractor, plumber, electrician, handyman, or gardener, create a list. You will make things easier for the buyer, but the vendors will also love that you paid it forward. Plus, you’ll help your favorite vendors win over new clients.
Spruce up the yard
It’s easy in all the craziness of a move to overlook the yard. You might even completely forget to check a tool shed or other outdoor sheds containing some of your favorite tools. Give the grass one last cut and clear out any old debris. The future owners will be especially thankful if you take a moment to pull weeds, remove dead branches, dispose of brush, and rake dead leaves.
Do one last clean
We all love the feeling of walking into a clean house. After the movers have left and everything is out of the house, do one final clean to leave the house smelling fresh. Not up for the final clean yourself? Consider hiring a housekeeper for that last task.
Contact the utility companies
A few weeks before you move, contact utility companies to make them aware of new ownership. Also, head to your local post office to set up a change of address and redirect your mail. Try your best to leave your house the way you would like to find it if you were moving in.
The HouseMax difference
Preparing for a traditional property walkthrough — as well as coordinating the time you’ll need to be out of the house — is quite the undertaking. But with HouseMax, the process is simple. What should you do to prepare for the HouseMax walkthrough? Simply be present and ready to answer the door. That’s it!
The walkthrough during a traditional home sale, as outlined above, asks a lot of you. But we keep it simple. Our walkthrough involves HouseMax and HouseMax alone.
That means fewer strangers in your home, more privacy, and fewer visits for you to coordinate. It also reduces the time and expense of taking time off work, making calls to coordinate childcare, and dropping your pets at daycare. Also, one walkthrough means fewer hours spent running around cleaning and tidying up your house to prepare for the walkthroughs.
Our process is simple, and it’s designed around you: the seller! After contacting us, we’ll have an initial discussion about your property. We’ll complete the walkthrough (again, with just your HouseMax representative and no one else), make you an offer, and once the contract is signed, you receive cash for your home.
As the most reviewed home buyer in the Kansas City area, HouseMax pays cash for houses and is here to ensure that your entire selling process, including the walkthrough, is painless and guarantees the highest return on your investment. We do all the heavy lifting and take the stress out of selling your home. Contact us today to get started.