Agent

Final walkthrough recommended before real estate purchase

Defect discovery could put deal on hold, re-open negotiations

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Dear Barry, Before we bought our home, the entire place was jam-packed with stuff, not just throughout the house, but in the garage and around the outside of the building as well. The sellers disclosed a few problems--a leaning retaining wall and a crack in the driveway--but it was hard for our home inspector to find much else, owing to the clutter. Once we moved in, the impact of this became clear. Now we can see the bulge in the garage foundation, signs of settlement in the rear bedroom, mold on the walls, and a list of other defects. Even with a home inspection, we bought the house sight-unseen. How could we have prevented this, and what can we do now? --Joe Dear Joe, As a condition of the sale, just prior to closing, the seller should have vacated the property to enable a final walkthrough inspection. A walkthrough is standard procedure when buying a home, ensuring that no vital areas of the property are concealed from sight and that no defect discoveries are unreasonably prevented...