Selling a house and switching of utilities

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cheesepep
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Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:58 pm

Selling a house and switching of utilities

Post by cheesepep »

So escrow will close very, very soon on the house that I am selling. On the date after the day that escrow closes, do I call the utility companies and cancel my name? Or do they need the name of the people who bought the house because the service will not be interrupted and they need to bill someone during this transition period.

We also have two mailbox keys. The mailbox keys are for the mailboxes that stand on the curb where the mail van drives up, opens up the back of the mailbox, and stuffs the mail in. Do we give both keys to the realtor? Because 1 probably cannot be found.
vested1
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Re: Selling a house and switching of utilities

Post by vested1 »

Call the utility companies and place a disconnect order for the day after escrow closes, or the day after you plan to leave if after the escrow closes. It can always be cancelled. Inform your realtor of the dates and leave the connection of utilities to the new owner.

Tell the realtor that you are leaving the mailbox keys and the home keys in the house at close of escrow. The realtor will have a lockbox to get in.
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celia
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Re: Selling a house and switching of utilities

Post by celia »

I gave my buyer about 5 days to sign up with the utilities (to allow for a holiday weekend). I didn't want frozen pipes with no heating in the property. When I went to take my name off the utilities a week after closing, I found out the buyer had picked up the utilities the day after closing.

If the mailbox was keyed by the PO, I was told to let the buyer go to the PO for a new lock and keys. Why would they want to use the same keys as you did when you might have made a copy or had a spare hanging around? If some mail isn't delivered to the new owner, you could be blamed. Now, if the landlord (property manager) gave you the keys originally, then return them to him to pass onto the next owner.
Golf maniac
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Re: Selling a house and switching of utilities

Post by Golf maniac »

Talk to your realtor. Each location may have slight differences. In general when you turn over ownership of the property you put in a disconnect order. It is up to the buyer to get the utilities in their name.
onourway
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Re: Selling a house and switching of utilities

Post by onourway »

We just went through this. Maybe it’s different elsewhere but we were warned multiple times to ask the utility to transfer service and NOT tell them to disconnect. If we had disconnected, we would not have been able to close! The new owner should be in contact with the same utility and they will know what to do - they do this every day.

If you have any questions, I’d ask your agent who knows your local market.
adamthesmythe
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Re: Selling a house and switching of utilities

Post by adamthesmythe »

If you have an agent you should expect the agent to answer any questions you have about the transaction.

YOU need to call the utilities to tell them where to send the final bill. The buyer needs to call the utilities to establish an account.

If you have an in-person closing you can expect to hand over all keys at the closing. Garage door openers, etc. also. If not, give them to your agent. If no agent, arrange to meet the buyer at the dead tree in the park and tell him to carry a tennis ball in his left hand.

Some rekey upon possession. I never bothered.
delamer
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Re: Selling a house and switching of utilities

Post by delamer »

In the area where we just sold, there is an escrow for the quarterly water bill created at settlement. The meter is read and then the bill is paid out of the escrow (any excess is refunded to the seller).

You really need to contact your real estate agent to find out your local procedures.
Isabelle77
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Re: Selling a house and switching of utilities

Post by Isabelle77 »

onourway wrote: Mon Nov 23, 2020 7:04 am We just went through this. Maybe it’s different elsewhere but we were warned multiple times to ask the utility to transfer service and NOT tell them to disconnect. If we had disconnected, we would not have been able to close! The new owner should be in contact with the same utility and they will know what to do - they do this every day.

If you have any questions, I’d ask your agent who knows your local market.
Yes, this. But don't wait until after you've closed, call and set it up to take effect the day you close or you can do it online with many companies now. Often you'll find that the buyer has already called, which is great.
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AAA
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Re: Selling a house and switching of utilities

Post by AAA »

celia wrote: Mon Nov 23, 2020 6:31 amNow, if the landlord (property manager) gave you the keys originally, then return them to him to pass onto the next owner.
And get a receipt.
stan1
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Re: Selling a house and switching of utilities

Post by stan1 »

These are all points that should be discussed with your realtor as there are local conventions.

In my area the utilities will ask if someone else is moving into the house when you call to shut off the service. You do not need the names of the person coming in as it is tracked by the address not the person. They will handle the cutover accordingly and the new buyer is expected to call in to establish service.

We have left all keys and garage door openers in an envelope on the kitchen counter. Again, the realtors are always very cognizant of this handover process. They do it for a living.

Sounds like you have one mailbox key not two (one is lost). If you just have one mailbox key just leave it. In the unlikely event someone asks for a second key say it is lost and there is only one. That should be the end of the discussion.
Northster
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Re: Selling a house and switching of utilities

Post by Northster »

This a very common, routine occurrence and in my experience the utilities have a procedure to handle it if you give them a bit of lead time. As I recall there was a web form.
quantAndHold
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Re: Selling a house and switching of utilities

Post by quantAndHold »

Either your realtor or your utility would know the answer better than random strangers on the internet. I’ve been in situations where both sides had to call the utility ahead of time and set up their own side, and I’ve been in situations where the escrow company just took care of it for us.

One time, we were the ones leaving, and the utility called us, because the people moving in had called to establish service at our address. That was the most convenient, of course.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
humblecoder
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Re: Selling a house and switching of utilities

Post by humblecoder »

Another data point for the OP.

In my area, you call the utility company to say that you are moving. They will perform a final meter reading on the day that you specify and then bill you based upon that final reading. When the new people move in and establish service, the utility company will use that final reading as the starting point for their billing.

They don't literally turn off the power. The buyer just gets "back-billed" for any power usage after the seller moves.
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