How to Make the Most of an Initial Home Walk-Through

Michael Burge
By Michael Burge 
Updated
Mortgage Rates Today, Dec. 22: Existing-Home Sales at 2007 Levels

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All those hours of searching online real estate sites for the perfect home hopefully leads to this moment: spotting a place that makes you say, “This could be the one.”

It’s one of the highlights of buying a home. Go ahead, pore over all the photos. Picture how you’ll arrange your furniture. But you should also call your real estate agent and schedule a walk-through.

What is a walk-through?

In the homebuying process, the walk-through comes after you’ve been preapproved for a mortgage — you want to know what you can afford — and before you make any offers. This is your first opportunity as a homebuyer to get a feel for the property. “Can I live here?” should be your guiding question.

You’ll spend years — possibly decades — of your life in the home you choose, so make sure it's the one that fits you best. Use your senses during the walk-through: Does the home smell funny? Do the floors slope? What does the neighborhood sound like? And do a gut check. Does anything feel off about the place?

Your real estate agent, who will be with you during the walk-through, is your professional second pair of eyes. She’ll help keep track of the advantages or potential problems of each home you see.

As you’re imagining your life within those walls, notice whether those walls are cracked or stained. Keep in mind, though, that no home is flawless, especially if you’re not the first owner. Make a list of your wants and needs, and remain flexible with things that aren’t hazardous to your health or your wallet.

If all this sounds like a lot to do during the already stressful homebuying process, don’t worry. This guide will help you make the most of your walk-through.

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New American Funding - PURCHASE logo
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4.5

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4.5

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Min. credit score 
500

Min. down payment 
3.5%

Check Rate

on New American Funding

Better - PURCHASE logo
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4.5

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