Did you know most tenants are more comfortable if you meet with them for a pre-move-out inspection before they move? They prefer to do this in person if possible and have their security money refunded to them on the spot. At the very least, they wish to know in advance of any deductions or charges against their deposit before they move.
Performing a move-out inspection before the tenants vacate is of virtually no benefit to the landlord. It can only create problems, confusion and disagreements between the parties.
Yes, it is usually a mistake to meet with the tenant for a walk through* to check the condition of the property and then hand over the security deposit. Often, there is a disagreement over whether the damages were the tenant's fault or responsibility, right?
*(In California, tenants have a right to a walk through with the owner before moveout. See California Pre-Moveout Inspection
Have you ever been in the awkward position of meeting with your tenant for a walk through in a damaged and dirty rental and the tenants expect the security back? Do you tell them that they will pay for all the damages they caused out of the deposit? Once they they are told of the intended charges against the deposit, do you think they will respond well to that? Will they have any incentive to do a good job returning your rental as clean and undamaged as possible? Of course not! Tyhey may even be spiteful and cause further damages just for the fun of it.