Advice

Utilities: you’re going to need them in your new home.

My client’s home is going to settlement this afternoon. She scheduled to have all the utilities transferred out of her name as of today. It’s normal practice for a seller to have utilities discontinued at a property on the day of settlement. It’s also normal practice for buyers to start utility service the day of settlement. Unfortunately in our scenario the buyer neglected to do their part. (Sigh.)

Since Washington Gas had no record of the account changing hands a technician showed up at my seller’s property early this morning to turn-off the gas. (Big sigh.) And the scramble ensued. I had to scramble and convince the technician not to turn the gas off so we could do the final walk-through. The buyer had to scramble to change all the utilities (i.e. gas, electric, etc.) into his name…all by 10:00 am. We all experienced unnecessary stress simply because a little advance planning didn’t occur.

Scheduling utility service should be high on the To-Do List when moving. I know, I know … it’s a pain. But it’s going to be a bigger pain when the moving truck shows up and your lights don’t work.

Long & Foster offers its clients a free Home Service Connections program that helps people turn on/off utilities and connect other services like phone, cable, etc. with the click of a mouse. If you’d like to call the utility companies directly here are some helpful phone numbers to use:

  • Dominion Power: 888-667-3000
  • PEPCO: 202-833-7500
  • Washington Gas: 800-752-7520
  • Verizon: 800-483-4000

Water utilities are done by county or city, depending on jurisdiction. The list is too great to mention here but a simple Google search will give you what you need.

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