Home Selling in Clarksville>Question Details

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ON or OFF, utilities

Asked by , Mon Oct 12, 2009

My house is currently for sale and I am in the process of moving. Is it a good idea to keep the electricity AND water on while it is waiting for a buyer. Everything will be off so I do not forsee a bill to pay.

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Although you are not a client, I will share with you the advice I share with clients. It is vital that you consider the season and time of year you are leaving your property vacant. I understand it is sometimes difficult to maintain utilities in two separate locations. However, if financially possible, LEAVE THE UTILITIES ON. Hopefully, your real estate professional representing you and/or a close friend will monitor the property to be sure viewers are not going in blasting the heat (during winter) or air conditioning (during extreme summer). Try to make it comfortable for prospective buyers to look as well as for your agent who will likely have agent/public open house as a part of the marketing plan.
If time permits, take a look at your immediate competition...try to think as if you were a buyer. Be sure you know and fully understand "WHY" a buyer would select another listing vs. your property. I show many vacant properties that are left in very poor showing condition. Make your property shine! Buyers have many choices in today's market. Buyers tend to buy at a much faster rate properties that are truly in move-in condition. Therefore, I'm encouraging you to leave your property in such great condition that the first buyer who looks at it after you leave will submit an offer...now, once you enter contract, the property is ready for inspections and appraisal. If you absolutely MUST turn utilities OFF during winter season make certain you have a qualified plumber on standby who you can call to have the property winterized when the temperature start dipping below freezing.
We are truly blessed in Clarksville, TN! Our market is not a bad market...price it right, make sure it shines and hopefully you’ll be closing real soon!
Best Wishes,
Dee Wagstaff-Williams
NCBC of Keller Williams Realty
1943 Ft. Campbell Blvd.
Clarksville, TN 37042
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 22, 2009
Leave Utilities ON if possible.

Cut off the Hot Water Heater Circuit Breaker.

Cut off the Dishwasher and other unnecessary Breakers.

If you have Gas, cut that OFF.

Set the Electric Heat / AC on 60 degrees.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 12, 2009
Hi, if you turned them off your home will not be on showing condition. Some buyers will think that your property is another short sale (unless it is) or foreclosure.

Also, you will need to reconect them again if you get an offer that requires inspection. And more, if you get an FHA offer, you need them on for appraisal-inspection.

Your agent or yourself need to let the buyers agents know that you will connect them for inspection.

It will cost you something, but I think it will cost you more no to sell.

You dont need to have the heat on 70, but ask what is the recommendation so the home does not feel cold and water on plumbing do not get frozen.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 12, 2009
I'm a fan of leaving them on. You can always turn the valve in the basement off, but this way, when it's time for inspection, you won't have to pay that new "start up fee", which will easily wipe out any savings you might have had.

And, if you're in an area where "winter" could be a plumbing problem, be sure to winterize the home properly or have someone pop in frequently to watch for damage. Serious freezing damage will quickly outstrip any savings you might have seen, and then add a serious penalty on top of it.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 12, 2009
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
If you turn off the utilities make sure that you have the house properly winterized. Also, it getting darker sooner. By having the electricity off, you may be limiting the hours that buyers can view the house by not being able to turn on any lights. Maybe keep the electric on but shut off the water.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 12, 2009
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