Home Buyer Walk-Through Checklist

woman with home buyer and renter walk through checklist on clipboard

Photo from Canva

In this article: 

When you’re buying or renting a house, you’ll have one last chance to determine that the property is in the condition it should be: the final walkthrough.


In the excitement of getting to move-in day, don’t skip this important step!


What is a final walkthrough? 


Although the objectives may be slightly different, the walkthrough for the buyer or renter will cover many of the same areas.  

For home buyers, this is your last opportunity before closing to confirm that repair work requested in the sales agreement has been done and that nothing in the property has been altered or deteriorated since last seen. 

For renters, you are about to assume responsibility for the condition of the property when you vacate. Everything below the inspection standard should be documented to ensure that you’re not charged for repairs or replacement when you terminate the lease.

This includes any issues such as broken or malfunctioning  appliances, windows, or other items;  stains on carpets or walls; or any other damage that existed before you moved in. 

Who attends the walkthrough? 

When buying a home, it’s typically the buyer and their real estate agent who do the final walkthrough. An agent will have a good idea of what to look for and will guide the homebuyer through any issues or if there are any repairs that need to be completed. 

Usually, the home walkthrough happens after the seller has moved out. But in a case where the seller hasn’t completed this process, the home seller and their agent may be present as well. 

For renters, you may do a walkthrough with the property manager or landlord or be given a checklist to complete within a certain number of days of moving in.  

landlord and tenants with walkthrough paperwork

Photo from Canva

What should renters and home buyers look for during a walkthrough?

For Home Buyers

Realize, as a buyer, that this is not another home inspection (this should have already happened). It’s simply your opportunity to ensure that all updates and repairs you agreed on with the seller have taken place, that nothing is missing, and that items or belongings have not been left behind by the seller.

Typically, a seller should leave the property in “broom-swept” condition, meaning clutter and trash have been removed, counters and surfaces have been wiped down, and floors and carpet have been swept or vacuumed. See below for a checklist for your renting or home buying walkthrough. 

For Renters

As mentioned above, your landlord or property manager will likely present you with a walkthrough checklist, but here are some general items to be aware of from our article, 7 Things to Know Before Renting Your First Home. 

Flooring and baseboards: Carefully examine the condition of the flooring and carpet. Note any stains, pulls, or scratches, as well as the condition of the baseboards.

Walls and paint: Note any scratches or dents, the condition of the walls, if paint is fresh, and any stains.

Appliances and ceiling fans: Ensure appliances provided are in working order. If they aren’t, immediately place a work order for repair or replacement. Ensure ceiling fans are securely mounted, in good order, and clean.

Windows, blinds, and doors: Ensure windows and doors open and close smoothly, report any torn screens and request replacement. If blinds are provided, check that they are clean and report any broken or bent blinds.

Plumbing, toilets, and tubs: Check that there are no leaks, faucets are in good order, and tubs and toilets are caulked. Report any water leaks or a toilet that constantly runs immediately. 

Exterior and landscaping: Note the condition of grass, shrubbery, and trees. Is the property overgrown or in need of an initial mow? If so, document and report it.

What if there's a problem with the walkthrough? 

For Home Buyers

Depending on the severity of the issue, there are several options your real estate agent will probably advise: 

  • All repairs to be made before closing by seller.
  • Money from seller’s proceeds put into escrow account to pay for repairs after closing.
  • Closing delayed pending repairs completed.
  • For extreme issues, walk away from sale or take legal action.

For Renters

Beyond expected normal wear and tear, take note of any needed repairs or broken items. It’s important to document this so repairs can be made and you get your security deposit back when moving out. It’s wise to document with photos or videos any damages you notice on moving in.

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empty rental home before walkthrough

Photo from Canva

Don't Skip the Walkthrough!

In the excitement to get to closing or sign the lease, it might be tempting to skip this very important step….. don’t do it! Carefully inspect and record the conditions of the property using the checklist below, then download our free move in-move out checklist (see end of article). 

Home Buyer and Renter Walkthrough Checklist

Specifically for the Home Buyer Walkthrough: 

Were the requested repairs made to the property? Are all of the conveyances at the property? 

  • Appliances
  • Light fixtures
  • Play structures
  • Remote controls for home fixtures/garage door opener
  • Draperies
  • Other

For Home Buyer and Renter Walkthrough: 


  • Turn on appliances and test for function
  • Dishwasher
  • Refrigerator
  • Microwave
  • Stove
  • Garbage disposal
  • Sink
  • Ceiling fan
  • Counter condition
  • Floor condition
  • Cabinetry condition

Living Rooms


  • Rug/Flooring
  • Walls/nail holes
  • Light fixtures
  • Windows (open/close/locks)
  • Doors/door frames



  • Rug/Flooring
  • Walls/nail holes
  • Light fixtures
  • Windows (open/close/locks)
  • Doors/door frames
  • Closet fixtures
  • Ceiling fans



  • Check fixtures for function
  • Flooring
  • Tub
  • Shower
  • Sink
  • Toilet
  • Windows (open/lock/close)
  • Water damage (check inside cabinets/ around fixtures)
  • Light fixtures

Basement/Rec Area


  • Rug/Flooring
  • Walls/nail holes
  • Light fixtures
  • Windows (open/close/locks)
  • Doors/door frames
  • Water damage
  • Ceiling fans

General Interior


  • Banisters and stair railings
  • Furnace
  • HVAC
  • Hot water heater
  • Fireplaces
  • Storage areas and closets empty and dry

General Exterior


  • Doorbell
  • Alarm system
  • Outside light fixtures
  • Landscaping as expected
  • Doors/door frames
  • Garage door function and remotes
  • Deck/patio condition
  • Gutters and roof look intact/any repairs completed
  • Signs of pests: droppings, decayed wood from termites

Download our free move-in/move-out checklist for landlords and tenants below:




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