Home buying tips

The Top 10 To-Dos for the Final Home Buyer Walk Through


You’ve found your dream home, and at last, you’ve made it to the Final Walk Through, also known as the second to last step in becoming the new owners of your property! It’s like the rehearsal dinner before the wedding or the baccalaureate service before the graduation. You’re almost to the finish line. And what better time than now to discuss this exciting subject since home closings are at their highest in the months of July and August.

In terms of the logistics, most final walk throughs are scheduled for the evening before or the morning of the closing. Which timeframe you choose is mostly dependent on the schedules of the parties, the time of the closing, and when the seller has officially moved out of the house. The final walk through can take anywhere from 15 minutes to two hours, with most of them taking about 30 minutes to an hour. When you get to your almost next home for the walk through, you’ll usually find yourself in the company of your buyer’s agent and the listing agent. The seller typically doesn’t attend.

So…when you find yourself at this almost final step to buying your home, here are the top 10 to-dos to keep in mind:

1. Review the Purchase & Sale Agreement (P&S) prior to your arrival at the walk through as a reminder of what the seller agreed to repair, address and leave with the property.

2. Make sure any inspection issues have been properly resolved.

3. Check that there isn’t any water in the basement or any other damage to the property that you haven’t seen or about which you haven’t been made aware.

4. Confirm the inclusions are still at the property and anything you’ve asked to be removed is no longer there.

5. Ensure everything has been removed from the attic, storage areas, drawers, cabinets, closets, etc.  

6. Confirm the house is “Broom Clean” (click here to learn about what “Broom Clean” really means).

7. Make sure the air conditioning and/or heating system, depending on the season, is working. 

8. Confirm the seller has left keys to the house and garage door openers.

9. Run the water in the faucets, and flush the toilets.

10. Look for any instructions and/or warranties to appliances and house systems that the seller said s/he would leave for you.

If you run into issues with any of the above final walk through to-dos, consult with your buyer’s agent and your real estate attorney. Together they will help get everything resolved one way or another prior to the closing. And then Happy New Home! Yay! 🙌🏻😄

What are your thoughts on the final home buyer walk through? When you were buying your house, did you do any of these to-dos during the final walk through or were there other ones you completed? I can’t wait to hear….

For more information on this or about the real estate market in Weston, Wellesley, Wayland and the surrounding towns or if you are considering selling your home, please contact me, Lisa Curlett (www.lisacurlett.com, 781-267-2844 or lisa.curlett@compass.com), to answer any questions or for a complimentary home appraisal.

Family Buy-in When Purchasing a Home


Purchasing a home is a family decision - yea or nay? I’m sure many of you have found yourselves in this situation. You and your spouse or partner are in the quest for a home and have seen countless properties during the process. Now you’ve found one that you both agree could be your next dream home. This begs the next question - how do you feel about family buy-in on the purchase of the home. Should this important decision include the opinions of your kids, parents and/or in-laws, for example. Are they entitled to a vote and/or to weigh in on the decision? Hmmmm….

The kids - If the kids are young, the answer is fairly straightforward. All things being equal, they should see the property - and will likely love it if you do - but they don’t need to be decision makers in the process. It becomes a bit more complicated as the kids age. Their opinions do matter. They should 100% see the house and be asked their opinion. But should they be decisions makers? For example, if your 16-year-old son doesn’t like the house or want to move, should that prevent you from pursuing your dream home?

Parents and In-Laws - The same holds true with parents and in-laws - at least as I see it. You’d like their opinion, but if it’s a “no-go, should that effect your decision? To make matters more complicated, what if they are investing in the potential property? And what if your parents or in-laws live with you and/or take care of your children while you work? Perhaps they feel your potential dream house is too remote. They want a location that is walk-to-town so they can go on fun adventures with your kids during the day, and you prefer a peaceful, serene setting that is a 15 minute drive to shops, restaurants and public transportation. This is getting more difficult by the second….

My final thoughts - and the bottom line from my perspective - are that while you’d like to have buy-in and a thumbs-up vote from your children, parents and in-laws about your next potential home, it really comes down to you and your spouse or partner. A family member’s financial investment in the new home complicates matters and should be seriously considered and evaluated, but at the end of the day, this is a decision for you and your partner.

What are your thoughts on this subject? Have you found yourself in a similar scenario - where you and your spouse loved your next potential dream home and certain family members didn’t? How did you handle the situation? I can’t wait to hear…..

For more information on this or about the real estate market in Weston, Wellesley, Wayland and the surrounding towns or if you are considering selling your home, please contact me, Lisa Curlett (www.lisacurlett.com, 781-267-2844 or lisa.curlett@compass.com), to answer any questions or for a complimentary home appraisal.

The Time to Get the Best Deal When Buying a House


The time to get the best deal when buying a house is - drumroll please - NOW! And by now, I mean the late Fall market into the holidays. If you’re scratching your head and wondering why this is true, here are the three primary reasons that sellers are extra motivated to sell at this time of the year:

  1. The real estate market virtually goes on hiatus for three months. In early-mid November when Thanksgiving comes onto the horizon, buyers tend to get into holiday mode - not only for Turkey Day but also for Hanukkah, Christmas and the start of the New Year. And then once the New Year has begun, it takes a bit for buyers to focus on real estate again especially if the weather is cold, snowy, icy and yucky. This translates to a very slow market for most of November, December, most or all of January and sometimes even into February*. There is no other time in the year when the real estate market activity slows for this amount of time. And for those who are anxious to sell and can’t afford to wait at least another three months to potentially do so, they will accept the price that allows them to move on and sell now. 

  2. Many sellers don’t want to carry their homes through the winter. They don’t want to deal with some of the damaging and costly issues that can come up during the winter months, i.e. pipes freezing, ice dams, heating problems, shoveling/plowing snow time and time again, etc. I have found that this can be especially true if the sellers are elderly as home care-taking in the winter can be quite taxing for them. I also see this with sellers who no longer live in the house and can’t monitor the housing issues/situations that tend to arise in the winter months. Therefore these sellers are especially motivated to get the deal done before the harsh weather comes and potential ensuing issues emerge.

  3. Sellers know that they will be competing with fresh, new-to-the-market inventory in the Spring. During the Fall market, the sellers’ homes have accrued days on the market (DOM) - often significant DOM. In addition, their homes have been on the market and haven’t sold which often leads buyers to wonder what’s wrong with the properties. So not only are these sellers stuck with homes that have a prolonged market time** but also that need an explanation for why they haven’t sold. The bottom line is that these properties often have a hard time competing with the fresh, new-to-the market inventory in the Spring. And knowing this can make sellers more motivated to accept offers that allow them to sell now instead of waiting to do so in the Spring market.

There are two caveats to getting a deal at the end of the Fall market. First, not all sellers are motivated to sell their homes despite the reality of the three issues outlined above. And if you end up negotiating with one of these un-motivated sellers, you probably won’t end up with a great deal. Second, the downside to buying at this time is that the inventory is sparse. And so you may be able to get a great price on a house, but you might have problems finding a property that fits your needs and desires.

Have you ever found yourself in this situation - looking for a deal on a house at the end of the Fall market? Were you able to find it? If not, what prevented you from getting a great deal? I can’t wait to hear….

For more information on this or about the real estate market in Weston, Wellesley, Wayland and the surrounding towns or if you are considering selling your home, please contact me, Lisa Curlett (www.lisacurlett.com, 781-267-2844 or lisa.curlett@compass.com), to answer any questions or for a complimentary home appraisal.

* The start of the Spring market varies depending on the town or city in which you live.

** Although there are tricks to making market time less apparent, there is no way to erase it.