New York Real Estate: What You Should Know About Doing a Walk-Through

by | Feb 10, 2022 | Buying a Home in New York, New York Real Estate, New York Real Estate Transactions

When purchasing a property in New York you will have two opportunities to conduct a walk-through. The first will be your initial inspection and the second, a final walk-through. Both are important.

Having knowledgeable legal counsel by an experienced New York real estate attorney will help you identify potential problems and handle them as they arise.

In this article, I am going to discuss details about your final inspection or “walk through”.

A final walk-through can sometimes generate last-minute disputes between you, as a buyer, and your seller. Without the help of an experienced real estate attorney, these disputes, even if small, can transform a simple closing process into a contentious one. To help you avoid these problems, here are a few basics to keep in mind when finalizing your real estate transaction during that final walk-through of your future home or property.

Why The Final Walk-Through?

To start with, what are you trying to accomplish in the final walk-through?

The purpose of the walk-through is to ensure that the home or property you are about to close on is being delivered in accordance with the agreements you laid out in the initial contract.

For example, if in the initial contract the seller was to fix certain aspects of the property or paint then you need to ensure those items have been properly been handled. In some sales, the seller has agreed to leave certain items such as electronics, TVs, washers, dryers, and so on.

Technically most items mounted to a wall or ceiling will automatically come as part of the sale unless otherwise stated, however, sometimes additional items can be negotiated into the contract and sale.

Typically, you will ensure that all systems and appliances are in working order and that the home or property is in the same condition as when you originally signed a contract.

It is also normal for the home to be cleaned, vacant, and move-in ready, since your final inspection will usually be done a few days before closing. But again, it’s all a matter of what the real estate transactional terms laid out in the initial agreement.

Things You May Not Take Up in A Walk Through

Every real estate transaction is guided by agreements laid out in a contract. A contract is a legal agreement signed by both the buyer and seller that lays out how the entire real estate transaction should proceed.

Every contract is different, however, in most walk-throughs, you understand you are purchasing a used home or property.

The final walk-through is not a wish list of items or things that you as a buyer want to be fixed before moving in unless specifically agreed upon as part of the initial contract. If these items are not specifically agreed to by both the buyer and seller and addressed by a repair rider then those items are considered “as is.”

For example, the walls will not be newly painted, and nail holes less than the size of a U.S. dime that was present when the contract was signed are normal and the buyer cannot object. The property will not have brand new appliances and the home will generally look the same as when you originally inspected it unless agreed upon otherwise through the contract.

At the inspection, appliances should be tested, and systems should be turned on to ensure they are working. Hot water should get hot when turned on within a reasonable time, and water should have sufficient and normal pressure. Depending on the season, it may not be possible to test all systems and so on.

What Happens if Issues Arise During a Final Walk-Through

Despite preparation, issues can come up.

Suppose that you notice the windows don’t open and feel sticky, or that there is a hole in the wall behind the refrigerator? What do you do?

The answer is in the contract. Typically, at the start of the process, you will have conducted a formal inspection of the home. Granted that there may be a few things that you didn’t originally catch, most homes are sold “as-is” at contract signing.

Unless there is a specific provision requiring the windows to be in “good working order” at closing, then the question becomes were the windows “sticking” when the contract was signed?

This is why it is so important to have a real estate attorney who knows how to protect you and your investment throughout the entire real estate process. Having a real estate attorney can not only help prevent these situations but also help you get out of them should they arise.


When your closing day comes, there is a lot to be done. Keeping things in perspective during the final walk-through will help the closing be smooth and friendly.

A successful real estate attorney can help you keep the entire walk-through and closing process calm and smooth.

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Annie Justice Piccinnini Law Senior Editor

Annie Justice
Senior Editor
Piccinnini Law
                                   (516) 500-2110