Rob Jensen here with a public service announcement for all of you home sellers out there.
There will come a time when your home is in contract, and you have an upcoming close of escrow date. This is the date when your property records, and it’s no longer yours. At that point, you’ll need to cancel your utilities and any vendors you use, such as landscapers and pool cleaners.
My recommendation is to schedule all of that to shut off two to three business days after the close of escrow. Don’t do it the day of, and don’t do it before. In real estate, there’s too much that can go wrong. If escrow gets pushed back, whether it’s two days or a week, and your home has no water, guess what? Your landscaping will start dying. If it’s wintertime, you have a little bit of a buffer, but if it’s summertime, your landscaping will die—especially if you live in a hot city like Las Vegas. If that happens, your buyer might want to back out, or they’ll ask you to pay for it.
Water isn’t the only utility you have to worry about, though. If your house has no power, the sprinkler system won’t work. The pool pump for your pool isn’t going to work, either. So now, all of a sudden your nice blue swimming pool turns green and starts blossoming mosquitoes. You don’t need that.
If you want to cancel your internet, your alarm service, your phone service, or anything like that…that’s fine. But you have to keep the gas, power, and water on. Don’t let these things get shut off. Schedule your utilities to cancel two to three business days after the close. Likewise, don’t fire your vendors until the deal’s done. You have to keep your property in tip-top shape until the close of escrow. Otherwise, you risk running into problems that could cost you a lot more than the extra 20 to 50 dollars for an extra day or two of utilities. If your pool turns green and your landscaping dies, it could cost you thousands—or potentially even your sale.