After countless hours of browsing online real estate websites in search of the perfect home, you finally stumble upon a place that sparks excitement and makes you think, “This could be the one.”

It’s an exhilarating moment in the home-buying journey. You’ll look at each photo and envision how you’ll arrange your furniture, but what’s the next step? It’s time to reach out to your real estate agent and schedule a walk-through.

What Is A Home Walkthrough?

A walkthrough is an important step in the home-buying process that occurs after you’ve been pre-approved for a mortgage and before you make any offers. It offers you the chance to assess the property and determine if it’s the right fit for you. As you envision your life within those walls, pay attention to details like unusual smells, sloping floors, and the atmosphere of the neighborhood. Trust your instincts and take note of any concerns you have.

During the walkthrough, your real estate agent will accompany you and provide professional guidance. They will help you identify the advantages and potential issues of each home you visit. Remember that no home is perfect, especially if you’re not the first owner. Create a list of your preferences and necessities, while remaining open to reasonable compromises.

Navigating the homebuying process can be overwhelming, but this guide is here to support you and ensure you make the most out of your walkthrough.

Before Your Home Walk-Through

Before you go for a walk-through, ask your real estate agent these questions to determine if the property is worth considering:

  1. Reason for selling and timeline: Understanding why the owners are moving and when they need to move can influence the price negotiation. They might be in a rush to relocate for a new job or require funds to purchase their new home.
  2. Asking price evaluation: Your agent, being a market expert, can provide insights into whether the asking price is too high, too low, or just right. They can also compare the value of the home with others in the area.
  3. Time on the market and offers received: Knowing how long the property has been on the market can indicate its desirability. A property that has been listed for an extended period may have some drawbacks. Additionally, understanding if there have been any offers or contracts falling through can be crucial information.
  4. Neighborhood characteristics: Inquire about the neighborhood and its proximity to schools, shopping districts, and other amenities. Exploring the area at different times of the day can provide a better understanding of its overall ambiance.
  5. Taxes, utilities, and insurance rates: It’s important to have a clear understanding of the current owners’ expenses and whether these costs will increase upon your move-in. Keep in mind that property taxes can be adjusted based on market rates when ownership changes.
  6. Homeowners Association (HOA) fees: Check if there are any HOA fees associated with the property. Consider whether these fees fit into your budget and if you are willing to comply with the rules and regulations set by the HOA.

By asking these questions, you can gather valuable information to make an informed decision about the property you are considering.

During Your Home Walk-Through

During the walk-through, you may experience love at first sight. Picture family meals in the elegant dining room and cozy movie nights in the inviting living room as you pass through each doorway. However, it’s crucial to remain astute and leverage your agent’s expertise to your advantage. They will serve as the intermediary between you and the seller or the seller’s agent.

Keep in mind that if the seller or their agent is present during the walk-through, it’s wise to be mindful of your words. Being overly critical of the home may deter them from selling it to you.

If you do find yourself falling in love with the home, try to temper your enthusiasm. It’s essential to present your best negotiating face. Take diligent notes as you explore the house and consider the following questions:

  • What repairs are necessary? Pay attention to details such as warped floorboards, cracks in the foundation, or rusty water fixtures. Additionally, doors that don’t fully close and ceiling cracks may indicate underlying foundation issues.
  • How old is the roof? Replacing a roof can be a costly endeavor. If the roof is over 20 years old, it may require replacement soon. Conversely, if it’s brand new, you might be eligible for an insurance credit.
  • What items are included with the home? Keep in mind that window fixtures, rugs, appliances, and furniture that you see during the walk-through may not necessarily come with the house. Is the home’s price contingent upon what the owner leaves behind? Consider whether you desire or require a play set in the backyard.

Some sellers employ staging companies to enhance the home’s appeal, and these companies typically remove all items once the house is sold. If you particularly adore a specific throw rug on display, consult your agent about the possibility of including it with the home if you decide to make an offer.

  • How much sunlight does the house receive? Assess the house’s sun exposure. Ample direct sunlight can help reduce heating costs in winter, while shade trees can provide relief during the summer. Does the master bedroom face south? Expect a warm room when the sun is shining bright.
  • Are renovations feasible? Consider whether the layout suits your needs and accommodates all your belongings. If you contemplate future renovations, it’s important to determine if walls can be removed or additional rooms can be added. Your real estate agent can assist in determining which walls are load-bearing and whether the city mandates permits for specific upgrades or additions.
  • How is the drainage? This is crucial information if you wish to avoid having a swimming pool in the basement or on the first floor after a heavy storm. Look out for warning signs such as standing water on the property or a damp basement floor.

By considering these factors during the walk-through, you can make an informed decision about the home that aligns with your needs and preferences.

What’s Next?

Once you have compiled the list of pros and cons for the home, it’s time to compare them with the pros and cons of the other homes you have seen. This comparison will help you determine which place best aligns with your needs and preferences. Consider what you can live with and what you cannot live without.

After finalizing your decision on a particular home, your agent will assist you in preparing an offer. It is crucial to act swiftly, especially in a competitive market.

If your offer is accepted, your agent will guide you through the closing process, which includes a comprehensive home inspection and, if necessary, a home appraisal mandated by your mortgage lender.

To ensure a smooth walk-through process, make sure you are well-informed beforehand and ask your agent any questions you may have. This will bring you one step closer to owning the perfect home.

Contact Sword Mortgage To Learn More About Your Options

Call (770) 757-5750 or complete our online form to speak with a loan expert at Sword Mortgage to get help navigating your options and find a loan that fits your needs today.