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Old 12-10-2008, 10:41 AM
 
546 posts, read 2,093,036 times
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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?
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Old 12-10-2008, 10:58 AM
 
Location: Central Texas
20,887 posts, read 41,647,353 times
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In my experience it's always been the seller's responsibility to turn the utilities on so that an inspection can occur. In fact, I'm not sure the buyer CAN turn them on here, since they don't own or rent the house. It's in our standard contract, in any case, that the seller will have the utilities on for that purpose: "Seller at seller's expense shall turn on existing utilities for inspection."

And it's certainly not your responsibility to pay for any past due bills of the seller's!
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Old 12-10-2008, 11:06 AM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
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Vacant short sale though..gonna be tough to get the seller to do that.
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Old 12-10-2008, 11:38 AM
 
Location: Cary, NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyTexan View Post
Vacant short sale though..gonna be tough to get the seller to do that.
That's probably the fact of the matter.

But, the truth should be in the contract. It should specify that responsibility.
I would read it, and if the contract does not compel the bank to turn on utilities, then the buyer may have to do it.
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Old 12-10-2008, 11:45 AM
 
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The potential buyer will, of course, have many, many other properties available.
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Old 12-10-2008, 01:33 PM
 
Location: Richardson, TX
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It should certainly not be you paying it.

After a foreclosure, the utilities should be in the bank's name.
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Old 12-10-2008, 01:35 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
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In the cases of bank owned properties that I've dealt with, they've turned the utilities on, no problem.

A short sale, though, is another breed of cat. As said, I'd look at your contract and see what it says. If your agent is not the listing agent, ask them to show you where it says that you're responsible for doing that.
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Old 12-10-2008, 01:47 PM
 
Location: Marion, IN
8,189 posts, read 29,931,891 times
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I just went through this. Seller turns on the utilities, buyer pays for de-winterizing and re-winterizing. It was clearly outlined in the contract.

The first house I tried to buy the seller's agent dug her heels in and refused to turn on the water. My agent sent a plumber out there and discovered that all of the pipes had burst due to the property being vacant. Too bad that info was not disclosed, I would not have wasted my time on that house.

The house I ended up buying the seller's agent actually reached into her own pocket to pay the outstanding balance on a utility so that they could be turned on for the inspection.

Here the utility companies turn the service on as a courtesy and nobody has to pay anything. Both of the houses were bank owned, not short sales.
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Old 12-10-2008, 01:58 PM
 
28,461 posts, read 79,343,640 times
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Default Right, what was the place where the unbaptised dead infants would go???

Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasHorseLady View Post
In the cases of bank owned properties that I've dealt with, they've turned the utilities on, no problem.

A short sale, though, is another breed of cat. As said, I'd look at your contract and see what it says. If your agent is not the listing agent, ask them to show you where it says that you're responsible for doing that.
Short sale means the SELLER is technically still legally responsible for the utilities and such, but the are broke and the sale will make them even more so, bank does not have right/authority to take charge of that sort of thing (and they are going to be losing the sale too...).

Logic of BUYER having the only CASH MONEY to get utilities turned on and most LEGITIMATE stake at preserving the integrity of the place is sound, I would hope utilities would realize this too...

BTW You really ought to get the heat ASAP with this cold weather. All kinds of bad stuff happens in the subfreezing temps!

If you cannot get the heat on, make you sure turn off water and PURGE the PIPES!!! Quick and dirty: open all the faucets after the main is shut off, use a compressor to force water out of horizontal lines so trapped water does not burst pipes when it freezes.

Even if you do the above, without heat bad things happen. Roofs can get racked, dry wall can pop, door frames can warp, vermin can move in. Extreme cold causes the framing of house to contract and can have serious damage potential...
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Old 12-10-2008, 02:30 PM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
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Coming into winter now..I hope the banks take care of those REO's that are just sitting although I'm leaning the other way and think they won't do a thing.

Come spring they'll have a lot of damaged RE that won't sell.
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