One joy of buying a newly built house? Being the very first person to live in that home. Everything is new! That’s also why Saussy Burbank invites its homeowners to walk through the home with a field manager and their sales agent. The home walk-through is an opportunity to get a sense of the new house. In this edited Q&A, agent Kim Claxton answers some common questions about the home walk-through experience.
The walk-through happens about a week before closing. Its purpose is to orient you to your new home and go over the final details about the house. We’ll show you where things are and how they work in both the interior and exterior.
Inside the house, we’ll show you how all the appliances work, where the circuit breakers are, and where to turn off the water in case you want to go away on vacation or there’s an emergency and you want to quickly shut it off. We also like to spend some time going over the warranty details.
We’ll go up into the attic and/or crawl space, depending on the home, to show you the heating and cooling units and where to change the filters. If you have smart home technology, we can show you how some of that works. But, if it’s a whole automation system, we’ll encourage the homeowner to set up a different appointment time to focus exclusively on that. We don’t want them to be overwhelmed with all the stuff they’re learning.
Outside, we’ll point out where the condensers are, where the exhaust fans exhaust from the house, where the gutters are, and inform them of anything they might need to know about where things are. We’ll point out how the drainage is established and explain that they don’t want to change the grading of the lot as it would change the path of the water flow and could void the warranty.
We have cleaning crews come through before the homeowner walkthrough, but if you go into a house one hundred times you will notice different things each time. So, we’ll have people point out places where paint needs to be touched up or caulking could be cleaned up, or potentially a ding on a cabinet door. If you go into a house, no matter when it was built or who it was built by, you’re going to notice something.
The walk-through is really the homeowners’ time to point things out and blue tape things before the close. Think about it, you want to be happy: is there something that is going to bother you? Together with the field manager, we will make a list of things to address in that final week. It’s our job to have complete customer satisfaction and make it as perfect as we can. After that, it’s going to be your responsibility as the homeowner.
After the new home orientation, we will also meet briefly at the home the day of close to go over any of the items created in the walk-through. If anything had to be ordered and we couldn’t get it in, that will be noted before the actual close.
If the homeowners have any questions about the house, this is the time to ask.
This is their chance to make sure that everything is to their satisfaction.
I suggest bringing some shoes that you don’t mind getting muddy in case it has just rained. Also, wear something that you are comfortable in going up attic stairs. You don’t have to do that but we recommend it.
I do get a lot of questions about cleaning the hardwood floors or questions about the appliances.
It depends on the size of the home and the homeowner and what type of questions they may have. Typically I budget 90 minutes to two hours. We want to take full advantage of this opportunity to go over the details of the home and answer questions and make sure the buyers are prepared for living in their home.
Yes, it’s a lot of information. We really try to make the walk-through an educational new home orientation. We really want to make sure that they are familiarized with their new house.
The home walk-through is just one of the ways in which we prioritize customer satisfaction. We have a third-party survey homeowners during and after the home buying process. We’re proud to have been honored with the Guildmaster Award, the organization’s highest honor for customer satisfaction, 10 times since 2011.