Why Condo Walk-Throughs are Important
Why indeed! You’ve already found the perfect condo in the perfect neighborhood. It’s close to your office, it’s close to your favorite shopping, and it’s close to some of Chicago’s best nightlife. The interior was beautifully updated, the lobby and hallways are kept clean, and the neighbors seem nice. So why would you bother with a final condo walk-through?
It might seem excessive. It might even annoy the seller and his or her agent. But doing a condo walk-through is important for many reasons:
- You’re paying hard-earned money. At the risk of sounding parental, it’s important to understand the value of money. You work hard, and you’ll only earn what you earn during your window of employment. So don’t waste it. Downtown Chicago condos aren’t inexpensive, and you deserve to get what you’re paying for.
- You could’ve missed something. When you first toured the condo, you probably focused on its great location, the contemporary finishings and features, the association’s amazing amenities, and more. But you could’ve missed something. Maybe an indistinguishable leak has become a rust-colored wall stain. Maybe it was warm out when you toured and missed a window gap that’ll have you freezing (and losing money on heating) this coming winter.
- Holding sellers accountable. Wear and tear is a part of life. Homes get old, and things need updating. That’s perfectly normal. It’s also perfectly normal to negotiate repairs into a purchase contract. For example, say some drywall is damaged. You could require the seller to repair the drywall before closing. And if it isn’t, you could withhold a portion of the seller’s proceeds until it gets fixed.
What to Check During a Walk-Through
- Is the home clean? Has the seller removed their belongings?
- Are the items you’ve negotiated for present?
- Have the repairs you’ve requested been completed?
- Are invoices and warranties for any requested repairs available?
- Is there any visible damage, mold, leaks, or pest problems?
- Are all appliances clean and fully functional?
- Do all switches and outlets work?
- Are any electrical plate covers missing or damaged? Any exposed wires?
- Are the doorbell, garage door, exhaust fans, and ceiling fans functional?
- Do the heating and cooling systems function? Is the thermostat working?
- Do toilets flush? Tubs/showers drain? Sinks drain?
- Is the water running with proper pressure?
- Are faucets and showerheads working? Any leaks?
- Do all windows and doors open, shut, and lock properly?
- Is there any condensation or fogging on double-pane windows?
- Are there any missing panes or screens?
What to Do If Something is Wrong
If you find a problem when doing a condo walk-through, you can delay closing on your condo by negotiating a holdback, which is when a portion of the seller’s proceeds are withheld while they complete repairs. If something significant arises that changes your decision to purchase the home, you have the option of walking away.
However, before you take action, consult your real estate agent and attorney to determine the best course of action.
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