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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    NM
    Posts
    16

    Angry Sellers Turn Off Utilities Before Buyers Close

    State: New Mexico

    My wife and I are purchasing a condo. We were scheduled to close a day after the sellers closing, but were unable to because our lender did not send the Title company the loan documents. (This was because the lender had not received proper insurance information from the insurance carrier for the HOA.)

    We are still under contract for several more days, so we intend to close when the paperwork is in order.

    However, the sellers turned off the gas and electricity on the day we were originally scheduled to close. This was a Friday. The utilities were off for the weekend and for the two days following. This particular weekend was snowy and cold, so my wife and I are concerned about possible damage to the water pipes.

    When I brought up these concerns with my realtor (who is the sellers realtor), I was told the sellers have the right to turn off utilities after our final "walk through". Is this correct?

    I was also told not to expect any "guarantee" or agreement from the sellers regarding the condition of the pipes. Is this reasonable?

    We intend to close on this property, but out of curiosity's sake, would we have any legal standing if we were to terminate the Purchase Agreement based on the fact that the sellers turned off the utilities?

    To the sellers credit, they appear to have left some water running in the faucets. I did a second walk through, and did not find any leaks.

    Thank you -

    M

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    5,438

    Default Re: Sellers turn off utilities before buyers close

    Q: Is this correct?

    A: Yes. Not smart, but correct. What if the buyers completely skip town?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    NM
    Posts
    16

    Question Re: Sellers turn off utilities before buyers close

    Wow. Where's that written?

    Quote Quoting seniorjudge
    View Post
    Q: Is this correct?

    A: Yes. Not smart, but correct. What if the buyers completely skip town?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    5,438

    Default Re: Sellers turn off utilities before buyers close

    Quote Quoting mmartinez
    View Post
    Wow. Where's that written?
    Look in your contract.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    NM
    Posts
    16

    Question Re: Sellers turn off utilities before buyers close

    Okay ... Of course sellers have the right to turn off their own utilities.

    Let me rephrase my question:

    If the sellers turn off utilities before we - the buyers - close on the sale, are we in "default" if we terminate the Purchase Agreement based on the utilities being turned off?

    M.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    NM
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Sellers turn off utilities before buyers close

    The contract doesn't say anything about turning utilities off or on ... so, it being their house and all I suppose they can do it if they want.

    On the other hand, the contract does say that the mechanical working devices in the house (water heaters, etc.) need to be in the same condition as the "date of agreement". So I suppose if the pipes were to freeze and burst, we'd have a point in our favor.

    Thanks for you help.

    Michael

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