Donna Jeffer…, Real Estate Pro in Carrollton, TX

Is it more often than not that the utility service is off during the final walk through?

Asked by Donna Jefferson, Carrollton, TX Wed Mar 27, 2013

As a Lender I have a question. I am not a part of the final walk through before the loan closes however I have a client that had requested the master toilet to be repaired and the seller agreed and later told them the work was complete. The clients did their final walk through and then once the moved into the home and had the utilities turned on discovered the toilet had not been repaired. Of course now the home is theirs with no way to get the seller to make it right. The selling agent did go back to the seller to ask for the plumbers information so they could ask that company to come back and discovered at that time the seller just fixed the repair themselves (or not). I asked if the utilities were on during the final walk through and was told no. Is there any advice you can give to help a client in this situation?

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Tommy Burris, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Baton Rouge, LA
Wed Mar 27, 2013
Your client had a lazy realtor....
0 votes
Bruce Lynn, Agent, Coppell, TX
Wed Mar 27, 2013
Just 50/50..... if the owners have a contract and they've moved out, they may shut off utilities. If the buyer hasn't transferred or started the utilities they may not be on. The electric companies seem to be pretty quick to shut off and I don't think they even go to the house any more....they must be able to do it remotely.

We normally request receipts for repairs before closing, so if they have a receipt and it is not fixed, I'd call back the person who did the work. Also even if utilities were not on, there's often water for one flush in the toilet. So not sure if the buyer was able to check it or not.

Most purchases come with a home warranty, so if it is still not working, they might see if the home warranty company would fix it.

Of course we are always so quick to blame the seller, but it could be they did fix it, but it is broken again. This is of course impossible to prove in most cases. That's normally why we have the home warranty included in the sales.
0 votes
Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Wed Mar 27, 2013
In virtually all owner occupied sales utilities are on, it does of course follow what is in the sales contract. In alot of bank owned or short sales that are vacant, it is sommon the utiulities are off and the buyer would have to turn them on to test them. The buyer agent should be guiding their buyers through this.
0 votes
Mike Gonzalez, Agent, The Colony, TX
Wed Mar 27, 2013
Paragraph 7A of the TREC Purchase Contract (version 20-11) states, "...Seller at Seller's expense shall immediately cause existing utilities to be turned on and shall keep utilities on during the time this contract is in effect."

In my opinion, it would be a great idea for a buyer's agent to reiterate & confirm that utilities remain on until the property has closed.

Good luck.

Mike Gonzalez
SFR-Certified Realtor / Broker
214-783-4240 | Mike@MosaicDFW.com
Mosaic Realty, Residential REALTORS®
0 votes
Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Wed Mar 27, 2013
1. Write in special provisions of the sales agreement
a. utilities be on through close date.
b. Have all receipts furnished at closing

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