Can buyer transfer utilities on his name before Closing????

4 Replies

I am in process of buying a foreclosure and got stuck at the inspection and appraisal stage. Seller and Listing Agent is denying to turn on any utilities (especially Gas) and asking to transfer the Gas on buyer's name before they dewinterize  the property. Buyer is reluctant to do so before closing. Appraisal cannot be completed until all utilities are on......

Any one has gone through such scenario?  Will appreciate any inputs. 


I was able to get a 3 day turn on with my utility company for inspection purposes so its not truly in my name, only for 3 days to get the inspection completed.  You should be able to do something similar.

Kumar - I have done it a couple of times prior to the inspection when the utilities are turned off in a foreclosure.  It is quicker for the buyer to do it. than for the bank to go through the process.  You might have to pay an activation fee, then pay for the gas used.  In Virginia, you don't need to show that you own the property for them to turn on service.  It would be good for you to call the company, or even to have the service turned on over the internet.

Your buyer might be hesitant, but it is quite common for that to happen.  I would present it to him/her as the price to pay to bid on foreclosures, which in some cases offer a good opportunity to get a property at a lower price.  Good luck.

There is a fair amount of expense to turn power and water on, then have to winterize the property again prior to closing.  You may have to eat the costs if you are not willing to take the chance on the condition without utilities on.  Try to see their side also.

Thanks for the inputs everyone!

Buyer is hesitant not because of the cost of turning on the utilities but because of the liability and legality issues. He is nervous about who will be responsible if something goes wrong.   Any ideas???


Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

Lock We hate spam just as much as you

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here