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Finally — the final walk-through

by Meghann Finn Sepulveda on Feb 5, 2016

You’ve probably waited months for your new home to be finished and now the big day is almost here. But first, you need to take care of the final walk-through, a big milestone in the home-buying process that usually takes place just days before closing. It’s not only an opportunity for buyers to become familiarized with the home, it’s also a chance to make sure everything is functioning properly and is move-in-ready.

What to expect

“During the final walk-through — or what Robson Communities refers to as the ‘buyer orientation’ — our goal is to deliver a zero-defect home,” said Chris Harrison, senior vice president of construction for Robson Communities. “It’s not intended to be an inspection because we expect to deliver a completed home.”

During the buyer orientation, a Robson customer care representative will review the home-care guide and the warranty and maintenance requirements as well as demonstrate and assure that the larger items like the HVAC unit, sound systems, garage door and other mechanics of the home are working properly.

“If there is something that needs to be addressed like a drop of paint or a scuff on the wall, our team can usually fix those items on the spot,” Harrison said. “It’s common for our buyers to close on the home that very same day.” 

At PulteGroup’s final walk-through — known as the ‘build quality celebration’ — internal quality control checks and home verification have already occurred that determine when the home is complete and ready to present to the buyer. 

“This is typically not the time for buyers to feel like they need to look through the home and tag items that are not done correctly,” said Dan Surek, construction manager for PulteGroup’s Arizona Division. “That’s our job.” 

However, if there is something that needs to be addressed, builders will remedy the situation. “The field manager would quickly schedule the repair,” Surek said. “Any issues found after the walk-through would be scheduled with the service department following the close of escrow.”

Early, open communication

Most builders do a good job of engaging buyers and keeping the lines of communication open throughout the entire construction process. Indeed, many builders will email homebuyers weekly updates along with photos of the progress of the home.

Shawn Hanks, construction area manager for Maracay Homes, said that early on in the process they try to set expectations with homebuyers by explaining that building a new home is complicated. “Fortunately, we have several different quality inspection points along the way to help catch and fix anything that might occur,” Hanks said.

After the move

Buyers are often asked to create a list of any problems or items that may need to be addressed and submit it to the builder within the first month of living in the home. 

“Ultimately, buyers really need to be able to trust their builder,” Harrison said. “We pride ourselves on being responsive to the needs of our customers and are dedicated to doing what’s right.”

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