When it comes to selling vacant homes, sellers are often looking for ways to save money – especially if they are paying rent or a new mortgage payment elsewhere. It seems that the most common solution to decrease costs is to have the utilities turned off, since no one is living in the house anyway. When you’re selling vacant home , there are several reasons to keep the utilities on after you’ve moved out.
Selling Vacant Homes Advice
Utilities are required for inspections. The Louisiana purchase agreement states that the seller is responsible for providing all of the utilities for inspections. Since inspections are typically scheduled very quickly after an offer is accepted, you may be delaying your sale by making the buyer wait for you to have the power, gas and water turned back on.
Potential damage to the property. During the winter, we cannot take preventive measures such as leaving the main faucets dripping to avoid pipes freezing up. During the summer, the air conditioner functions not just to cool the house, but also to remove some of the humidity that our climate is famous for. Too much humidity = mold and mildew and a whole new set of issues.
Maintenance cost vs repair costs. Once a utility has been turned off for more than 6 months, you cannot have it restored without an inspection by a licensed professional (plumber or electrician) who ensures that everything is up to code. That would be current code, not the code that existed when your home was built or last improved.
The city or parish does not make homeowners upgrade their utilities every time a code is changed, but once you turn them off for an extended period of time, you’ll possibly spend much more in improvements than you would have to keep them on. We recently had a homeowner that spent several hundred dollars bringing their property into compliance with current codes after turning off the electricity and gas in an attempt to save just a few dollars each month.