Is it better to turn the utilities on in a house you want to show? Everything is off right now.

Asked by Douglas James, Amarillo, TX Tue Jan 22, 2008

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18
Pam Winterba…, Agent, Danville, VA
Tue Jan 22, 2008
Douglas.....

It is always best to have utilies on when a property is for sale. It adds to the showing and is necessary for inspections.
2 votes
Michelle Car…, Agent, Coppertino, AL
Tue Jan 22, 2008
Yes. Especially for safety, not to mention making the home's features easily visible to the potential buyers.
2 votes
Brian Burke, Agent, Highlands Ranch, CO
Tue Jan 22, 2008
In general yes. having the power on is a must especially if you are anticipating cold conditions. Buyers will not spend a lot of time in a home that is colder than the outside temp. If the weather conditions are wet the home could have the rainy (musty) smell which could also be a turn off for potential buyers.
Web Reference:  http://kennaandco.com
2 votes
Deborah Ritc…, Agent, Chicago, IL
Mon Mar 10, 2008
always better to have the utilities on, so potential buyers can test appliances, turn on lights for best viewing, and feel nice and comfortable (heat or cooling).
1 vote
Annie Nguyen, Agent, Fremont, CA
Mon Mar 10, 2008
ABSOLUTELY. A space without life likes life without chocolate. What I mean that you just take away all the effects of the lighting in the surrounding environment. The rooms without light just like empty carton boxes. Lighting adds drama to the objects, the spaces. It also create feelings which is very important in the selling process since buyers purchase their home based on emotions. I am not talking about investors who only see dollar signs in the property versus buyers who buy to live in. Those are the ones who buy their way of living more than just a house. Lighting and paint are the most effective features needed to make a house more attractive and inviting to get the buyers interested to make offer. And don't forget the aroma of nice scented candles or potpourri adds more coziness to the house. After all home is really sweet home for one to come home and relax. Don' t forget your landscape too. It plays very an important role in selling your home. First impression is always true.
1 vote
Patti Philli…, , Carlsbad, CA
Wed Jan 23, 2008
Douglas, Absolutely! You never know when an agent wants to show the property at night. When I show a property I usually go through it ahead of my clients and turn on as many lights as possible to make the home look as cheerful and bright as possible.

In addition, as said by my colleagues, when you have inspections you will need the utilities on anyway.

You want your home to be shown in the best possible light (no pun intended!) :)

I usually suggest that my sellers also keep a few cleaning supplies at the house, just in case a little clean up is needed while the home is vacant- sometimes things get tracked in, or a toilet is used- and starts to look a little icky after sitting- whatever..... your agent should be keeping a critical eye on everything.

Patti Phillips
800-680-9133
1 vote
Sylvia Barry,…, Agent, Marin, CA
Tue Jan 22, 2008
Yes Douglas, you do want to keep the utility on when your house is for sale.

The first thing I do when showing a house is to turn on the lights, it makes the home brighter, warmer; You want to be able to turn on the lights in the bathrooms or any other rooms; keep the hear on in the winter so the prospects are comfortable to stay and check out the house; water should on along with the sprinkler system so the plants outside do not die (perhaps have the garden come every so often to cut the lawn), .etc If you have a gas fireplace, it'd be nice that you can turn it on to sbow.

Yes, safety can be an isseu when showing a dark house and performing inspection also requires a bright house.

Also, make sure there is an outdoor light with light sensor.

A dark, dingy house also presents itself as not interesting, deserted, cold, uninviting - not something you want to impress your potential buyers wiht - and the cost is low if the house is empty.. It's worth it!
s

Best,
1 vote
Thomas Moser, Agent, East Northport, NY
Mon Jul 14, 2014
I imagine Doulas has solved his issue. This question is over six years old.
0 votes
Thomas Moser, Agent, East Northport, NY
Mon Jul 14, 2014
I imagine Doulas has solved his issue. This question is over six years old.
0 votes
Adrian Rissl…, Agent, Lancaster, CA
Mon Jul 14, 2014
Douglas,

Yes, it is better to turn on all utilities in a house you want to show/sell! . Utilities must be on for appraisals and home inspections in order for all the systems and appliances in the house to be tested. Also the property may be shown at night, so for safety reasons and as a courtesy to potential buyers leave the utilities on.

Respectfully,

Adrian Rissling
RE/MAX All-Pro
Lic.# 01810117
(661) 618-8130 Cell
(661) 942-0696 Fax
Adrian@REMAXAllPro.com E-mail
0 votes
Patti Philli…, , Carlsbad, CA
Sat Aug 9, 2008
Douglas, I have to agree with the others. Yes, yes, yes, yes and yes. Not only for all of the things mentioned, but people like to look in areas such as closets, interior bathrooms, etc. When things are dark and dingy people just don't get the best effect. Also, if you have no utilities, the lawn is not getting watered. The minute you have a dead lawn the value of the house plummets. Keep the utilities on!
0 votes
Paige Walker, Agent, Alexandria, LA
Wed Aug 6, 2008
Douglas, This is a great question and one I have to answer quite often! Checking on the temp in Amarillo today it appears your weather is not as hot as it is in Louisiana but you do get in the low 90's. Should you have the utilities shut off as it has already been stated it does make the house more difficult to show. But, something else that will happen when there is no air running any odors that are in the carpet, curtains and walls will start to really show up. The house will start to smell stale the longer it sits with no air. Something else that is important is that buyers quite frequently like to turn on faucets, flush toilets, and turn on lights and fans. Kind of a preliminary inspection. My recommendation after 17 years in real estate is to leave on all utilities.
0 votes
Laurie Huhman, , 67205
Wed Jun 4, 2008
Hi Douglas,
You want Buyers to feel welcome and comfortable in any home they are looking at. I have showed many homes with utilites off and Buyers turn right around and move on to the next. Consider that some showings occur in evening hours and it is very difficult to view a home without electricity when it is dark! A flashlight just doesnt show your home in the best light. I would recommend keeping utilities on so you have the best chance to get an offer.
0 votes
Joan Fischer, , 47542
Fri May 16, 2008
In areas, like Southern Indiana, having the utilities on is necessary. We have a high humidity level in the summer so a/c or at least a dehumidifier is necessary to inhibit the growth of mold or mildew. Our temperature in winter sometimes hits below zero. No buyer in search of the "warmth of his own home" is seriously going to consider a house that he has to wear a coat and gloves to view.
0 votes
NA, , Morristown, NJ
Tue Apr 22, 2008
You really need to have the utilities on to effectively show a home.
Web Reference:  http://morrisnjhomes.com
0 votes
Annie Nguyen, Agent, Fremont, CA
Tue Apr 22, 2008
HI Douglas,

Lighting plays important roles in the environment. It creates the atmosphere that make the byers excited. Even showing at day time, proper lighting still helps the space more invited and cozy. When you come in to view the model homes, do you see all the lights turn on? that is the key to sell. Everything looks more dramatic under proper lighting. I say lighting is the best tool to enhance the features of the house to help you sell your listing for the top dollars. Good luck.
0 votes
Dawna Stone, Agent, Lakeland, FL
Tue Apr 22, 2008
Most Definitely, have the utilities on. Many buyers get started late in the afternoon... (If they can't see it, they won't buy it)! Buyers also like to test appliances, turn on lights, flush toilets (some may even have to use the facilities). The cost is well worth it. Don't let minor details get in the way of the big picture! SELLING your home FAST.
0 votes
Dot Chance, Agent, Burbank, CA
Fri Jan 25, 2008
Douglas, YES YES YES!!!! Turn those utilities on - especially if you are in Amarillo - I've been there in the winter.

You want a buyer to feel warm and cozy when they enter your home. Walking through a freezing cold house really turns buyers away.

Also, if your Realtor is doing open houses you cannot expect them to come sit there in the dark and be cold! I learned that the hard way. I tell my clients if they don't have the utilities on I will not do open houses.
0 votes
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