The closing for the house you’re buying is only a few hours away. Whether you are buying your first house or your fifteenth, it’s an exciting time.

Yet you can’t get carried away with the emotion of the moment. You still have some “due diligence” to attend to, in the form of a pre-closing inspection. It’s one last look-over in which you make sure that the condition of the property has not changed since you last inspected it.

And be assured, problems can sometimes arise in properties at the last minute. Pipes can spring leaks, branches can blow into windows and crack them, roof shingles can get dislodged, and worse. If you discover those problems during a pre-closing inspection, you are within your rights to ask for financial considerations from the seller to pay for the cost of repairs.

Here’s a checklist of things to inspect in your final walk-through . . .

  • Alarm and security systems.
  • Operation of switches, lighting fixtures, outlets and other electrical components.
  • Condition of sidewalks, driveways, fences, outdoor lighting.
  • Cosmetics, including floors, walls, bathroom and kitchen tiles, and paint.
  • Evidence of recent flooding in basement or other areas.
  • Gutters.
  • Operation of all interior and exterior doors, cabinet doors, and locks.
  • Operation of stoves, refrigerators, and other appliances that are included in the sale.
  • Operation of heating and cooling systems.
  • Operation of all plumbing, including hot water heater, water pressure, sinks, drains, and garbage disposal.
  • Roof – look for newly missing shingles.
  • Siding – look for any dislodged or hanging pieces.
  • Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors – are they present and working?
  • Thermostats.
  • Windows – look for cracks in glass and broken screens.
  • Locks.

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