About three times a month it happens to me........I Show up at the home finding the water and the pilot lights off. Of course I call the Realtor to inform them that there cannot be a complete inspection performed, for obvious reasons. The Realtor will typically ask, "can't you just go ahead and turn them on so we can get the inspection completed? The buyers really do not have time left on their contract." With the price of gasoline and scheduling of other inspections in mind.....
Your response is:
1) Sorry, I am not permited to operate main shut-off valves or to light pilots
2) You are going to have to pay for my second trip out here if I only do a partial today
3) The buyer will see an increase in the inspection cost if I have to come back
4) I'll just do a partial inspection and charge the client less
5) I will just leave and you call me when the home is ready, no up-charge
6) Turn the water on and light the pilot lights and then turn them off when you leave
I know there are many answers and every circumstance is a bit different but the lack of utility service really puts us, as Inspectors in an awkward posititon. We are already seen in many circles as the "deal killers" and then when we throw the announcement that there is no way to complete the inspection it just seems to create more of a barrier. I do ask the Realtor if all of the utilities are on and if the pilot lights are lit but that does not always ensure that they will be. Thoughts???