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Old 12-12-2008, 03:44 PM
 
Location: NW Las Vegas - Lone Mountain
15,756 posts, read 38,052,916 times
Reputation: 2661

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Austin-Willy View Post
One way that buyers can consider handling this is to put in the contract that if the seller fails to turn on the utilities or protect the house from inclement weather, that the buyer can do it and deduct the reasonable third-party out-of-pocket expenses from the sales price at closing. You could still get stuck with the expenses if the deal doesn't close, but once the bank approves the contract you are in the drivers seat and can force the issue at the closing table if it comes to that.

Of course, the bank might not agree to it. But if you don't get some protection you should be aware that you are taking the risk that the house could suffer severe damage prior to closing and then you will have to decide either to walk away or eat the repair costs.
Good thought. In my mind it is like an inspection - you put the utility money at risk if you decide you are going to try and close the home.

But I do like the idea of adding a clause that the seller will reimburse utility costs at close. I shall try that on the next set of shorts. I would think it would fly...You are still at risk for not closing. But that is small if the bank has approved the short.
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Old 12-12-2008, 05:05 PM
 
Location: Charleston, WV
3,106 posts, read 7,350,428 times
Reputation: 845
Quote:
Originally Posted by hueimo View Post
it's time to do inspection on this vacant short sale property, but the gas was off due to the place being vacant and the gas account name who's the coowner did not pay a huge gas bill. Ok, my realtor said that me as a buyer need to activate the gas under my name to do the inspection, is this reasonable? Just to ACTIVATE the gas for just inspection purposes, shouldn't that be the eller's responsibility? I don't even own the place yet.

another thing is, do I need to pay for the utiliies to keep the heater on low to prevent the winter damange to the pipes, since I still have 3 weeks to close? MY realtor said I need to pay for these expenses...is this normal?
Sure seems like the seller should pay but if he never paid his old bill he's certainly not going to pay for anything else.

The cost you pay of the gas for inspection and to keep the pipes from freezing - can it be taken out of the selling price? The bill wouldn't be out before closing but couldn't money be put into escrow or something.

Of course, if the seller has little interest in closing the deal, he's not going to do much to accommodate you.
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Old 12-12-2008, 05:15 PM
 
Location: Charleston, WV
3,106 posts, read 7,350,428 times
Reputation: 845
Back to the subject of escrow I just mentioned -

We bought a lot, the night before we were to close we out to the lot (neither hubby nor I had been there for a few days). Imagine our shock when we discovered the developer had put a light post right smack in front of where we planned to put our front door. On the plat, the post was supposed to be across the street and down a little.

Love our realtor - she & I met at the property early in the AM and spent over 5 hours at the property talking to the developer, on the phone with the seller, etc. trying to get the post removed (finished up about half an hour before our closing appointment). Resolution - the property owner agreed to pay for the removal of the light post. They put money into an escrow account which the closing lawyer handled. Then when the job was done they got the money back that was not used to move the light post.

Anyhow, maybe some of the money that the buyer will receive could be instead put into escrow to cover the gas bill then he would get the remainder after the bill is paid.

Sounds to me like either you are getting the place at a real cheap place, the buyer doesn't really care if he sells, and/or you don't have a very good real estate agent.
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Old 12-12-2008, 06:08 PM
 
Location: Mokelumne Hill, CA & El Pescadero, BCS MX.
6,957 posts, read 22,221,675 times
Reputation: 6468
Quote:
Originally Posted by Debsi View Post
It should certainly not be you paying it.

After a foreclosure, the utilities should be in the bank's name.
Most banks make US take over the utilities account until it's closed and in theory, we get reimbursed. In practice, we don't.

Since this case is a short sale, the bank wouldn't be involved. If the buyer wants the property bad enough, I'd suggest they go ahead and have the real estate agent take over the account and eat the cost as a part of doing business. I would.
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Old 04-18-2009, 01:19 PM
 
Location: Central Florida
800 posts, read 3,077,247 times
Reputation: 315
Who pays for utilities for inspections? Good questions. Most times the seller pays. Sometimes, the seller can't afford to have the utilities turned on so if that is disclosed property, the buyer can pay to turn on utilities for the inspections or just not deal with that listing.

Banks and REOs....some take care of the properties and some don't. It's a crap shoot.
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Old 04-19-2009, 08:26 PM
 
Location: North Wildwood, NJ
3 posts, read 7,871 times
Reputation: 10
I just had the same situation. The buyer wanted to do a home inspection. The company wasn't paying anything. I had the gas turned on in my name for the inspection and then turned off immediately after. Total cost $40.00. I will write it off as a business expense. PS: I go to settlement 5/1 and everyone is happy.
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Old 04-19-2009, 08:39 PM
 
Location: Columbia, SC
10,891 posts, read 21,846,800 times
Reputation: 10485
Quote:
Originally Posted by hueimo View Post
it's time to do inspection on this vacant short sale property, but the gas was off due to the place being vacant and the gas account name who's the coowner did not pay a huge gas bill. Ok, my realtor said that me as a buyer need to activate the gas under my name to do the inspection, is this reasonable? Just to ACTIVATE the gas for just inspection purposes, shouldn't that be the eller's responsibility? I don't even own the place yet.

another thing is, do I need to pay for the utiliies to keep the heater on low to prevent the winter damange to the pipes, since I still have 3 weeks to close? MY realtor said I need to pay for these expenses...is this normal?
Normally it is the seller responsiblity but a short sale isn't a normal deal. In this case, if you're getting a deal and the bank has accepted the sale, suck it up and get them done. The seller didn't have money to pay to mortgage or bring to closing, so they won't have the money to get utilities and gas turned on.
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