Paragraph 15 of the California Residential Purchase Agreement addresses the final verification of property condition...this is not a contingency of the sale (meaning, the buyer can't cancel the contract), however it gives the buyer the right to verify the condition of the property within 5 calendar days of closing. So if the seller has agreed to make repairs, the buyer can use this as an opportunity to visually verify the repairs are done. Or that the appliances that are included in the sale are indeed still in the property. Or that the seller has been maintaining the property in substantially the same condition as when the buyer's offer was initially agreed upon.
I could post lots of photos from my final walk-through with my buyers this last weekend, but this one is probably the most telling. The carpet is a creamy white color, and this particular room was filled with rugs and dining room furniture before the seller moved out. Now that the property is vacant, we can see that the carpet is horribly stained. This condition was not disclosed.
Aside from that, the home was pretty filthy, there were some holes in walls that were not there before, there was a large previously concealed stain on the vinyl flooring in the master bathroom, all three of the flat screen television brackets were removed and holes not patched, texture not touched up, etc. Again, thankfully we discovered these conditions BEFORE closing the transaction. While the final walk-through is not a contingency of the sale, the seller should turn over the property to the buyer in satisfactory condition.
How was this situation remedied? The seller did not want to delay closing, and did not want to do any additional work or repairs. We negotiated a $1,000 credit to the buyers to offset the costs of these newly discovered issues.
Had we not done a final walk-through and discovered this before closing, it would have been very difficult to negotiate any sort of compensation for the buyer for the condition of the house after closing, short to taking the seller to small claims court.