Apartment Walk Through Checklist

Clients of mine just sent me an email asking exactly what they should be looking for when they do their walk through of their new apartment this coming Friday.  Excellent question and here is a relatively comprehensive list from one of my colleagues, Paul Macapagal of Prudential Douglas Elliman:

    1. All receptacles and switches work, proper polarity checked (Paul suggests bringing your cell phone charger to check outlets…GREAT IDEA!)
    2. GFCI receptacles tested and working
    3. Switches and receptacles are the proper color
    4. All device plates installed straight and tight to the walls
    5. Light bulbs installed in all fixtures and all in working condition
    6. Telephone Jacks working
    7. Cable TV Jacks working
    8. Network jacks working
    9. Door Bell working
    10. Toilets all working
    11. Faucets all working
    12. Showers, bathtubs, and whirlpools all working
    13. No scratches, chips or nicks on any plumbing fixtures
    14. Hot water heat, each zone working properly
    15. Painting satisfactory in all rooms, closets and stairways no touch-ups required
    16. Walls, no dents, scratches, nicks or bad finish
    17. Windows all working and sealed properly
    18. Doors all working and sealed properly.
    19. All the glass windows and doors good with no cracks or chips 
    20. Wood floors properly installed and finished with no stains or marks
    21. Carpets properly installed with no stains and all seams match 
    22. All interior wood trim and moldings in place and properly installed
    23. All Air Conditioning working properly
    24. Heating units working properly
    25. Appliances like the washer, dryer, and oven etc. are all working properly
    26. All cabinets and counter tops checked for scratches, nicks, cuts, cracks or chips
    27. All tiles checked for scratches, nicks, cuts, cracks, or chips 
    28. All cabinet doors open and close properly
    29. All cabinet hardware installed properly
    30. Check all options such as garbage disposal, multi jet showers, steam baths, saunas, intercoms, concierge phone, alarm system, etc.
    31. Received all instruction manuals, directions and warranties
    32. Fireplace works properly, Draft and damper working
    33. Make sure all the keys are accounted for
    34. Check all the common areas of the building

This is the most complete check list I have seen in my 16 years and I can’t think of anything that has been overlooked.

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4 Responses to Apartment Walk Through Checklist

  1. avatar Pete says:

    You can check all these things, but unless we’re talking a fully furnished, new construction condo, you aren’t going to seriously bring up most of these things at a closing. Since most NYC co-ops are sold ‘as is’ I don’t see the point of looking for nicks in the countertop etc. — surely during your visit when you decided to bid you would have noted the general condition and factored that into the price…just my 2 cents.

  2. Excellent point Pete and something I certainly should have been more clear about in the post. These particular clients are buying in a new condo conversion. Btw, walk-through was cancelled 3 times last week and it turned out the apartment had no bathrooms. Seems they finished them on Friday.
    As far as “as is” contracts go, I would love to hear the opinion of an attorney on this. It’s my understanding (and I could totally be wrong) that “as is” is at time of contract signing. Having said that, if the seller moves out and tears up the walls (even nicks), floors, or anything else I believe the buyer would have recourse at the closing table. If that is the case, I should have been more clear and hopefully this comment clears that up a bit.
    As an anecdote, I had a closing some years ago where the sellers were going through a bitter divorce and on the day prior to the buyers walk through one of the sellers came into the apartment and destroyed the place busting holes in walls and tearing up flooring just to spite their partner (dumb move I know as it cost them $75K at closing table). When the buyer did the walk through it certainly wasn’t “as is” at time of contract signing thus the big concession at closing by the sellers.

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  4. avatar A Renter says:

    Nice list; as valid today as it was six years ago (except maybe some of the items mentioning jacks). I suggest not taking a phone charger unless your phone instantly responds to being plugged in. Many smartphones take five to ten seconds to register having been plugged in or unplugged; that can make the process take quite a while. Also good to test how much current they can handle; try a hair dryer if you can.

    With respect to apartments, it’s often not a question of getting the items fixed, it’s just getting the faults documented as present upon move-in so that the landlord can’t claim you caused the damage and try to charge the renter for it later. List the issues, get the landlord to sign the document, and each keep a copy. It’s *especially* important for as-is apartments.

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