REO Agents, Are you sure the water is on?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Realty One Carolina, LLC 282822

REO Agents, when you go through the sometimes pain staking phone call of getting the utilites turn on at a property, pay the bills monthly without skipping a beat only to find out that when you have an accepted offer on a property, the water is not turned on?

Hmmmm, what happened!!!!!!! You have paid several months of water bills and now you are finding out that there is a blue tie on the city turn on's actually locked!!!!! This is becoming a growing problem in some area and the water company is getting away with it.

I was contacted two weeks ago by an agent that requested my reo reimbursement management services. He could not understand why he was losing money and having such a big problem with getting the services turned on and off. After auditing serveral of his water bills, I found an alarming trend by the water companies, several of the turn on valves were tagged and lock because the technician's checking device showing flowing water in the lines. Not only did they lock the valve (since march 2011), they did not leave a note or contacted the agent regarding the problem. Even worst, the agent was paying $79.51 per month for 9 meters each month that was not turning (water was not running through the lines).

Always follow-up with the utility company to make sure the services are active and working property. If not, you could be spending an extra $4,293.54!


When ordering the utilities, turn on in the following order....Electricity, Water, and Gas. Always schedule the gas turn on for the next day. If the water is not on, some gas companies will not lite the gas appliances.

money in the garbage

Posted by




Carolyn Nelson, Broker and REALTOR
Realty One 247   |  

 Realty One 247 helps create a life-long relationship between Buyers and Sellers.

       Realty One 247



Comments (9)

Carol Zingone
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Florida Network Realty - Jacksonville Beach, FL
Global Realtor in Jax Beach, FL - ABR, CRS, CIPS

Carolyn - I have not heard of this, Idon't handle too much REO work, but have run into local REO agents convinced the utiliites are on, and they are not.  Usually on inspection day!

Aug 02, 2011 09:56 AM
Tara B. Downing
Village Properties - Mineola, NY
Homes For Sale - Mineola Port Washington

Thanks for posting all your ideas.  I enjoyed reading them.  Thanks again!!

Aug 02, 2011 09:58 AM
Carolyn Nelson
Realty One Carolina, LLC - Burlington, NC
Your Triangle to Triad Real Estate Expert!

Carol - That is probably because it was in fact ordered but the utility company found an issues with the lines. Hence tagging it at the turn on valve to prevent usage. In most cases, it is the water. It is tagged at the city turn on and not flowing to prevent flooding of the property, inside and outside.

Tara - Thank you! I some some if not all helps.

Aug 02, 2011 11:51 PM
Robert Smith
Preview Properties, PC - - Brighton, MI
SRES, Search for Homes Brighton-Howell-SE Michigan

Carolyn, you're right - it pays to check.  In my rural areas, i's not a problem with wells, but the properties on municipal supplies usually have a hefty bill arrearage to take care of first.  Not too much problem with billing for services that are turned off, but I will stay alert.  This kind of sharing is what makes AR a great site. Thanks!

Sep 16, 2011 12:39 AM
Carolyn Nelson
Realty One Carolina, LLC - Burlington, NC
Your Triangle to Triad Real Estate Expert!

Hi Robert, thank you for responding. Also take note of any desposit paid to turn on the utilities. You still have to be reimbursed for the final bill by the reo bank even though it is deducted from the deposit paid, and you have to make sure the utility company reimburses you for the balance.

Sep 16, 2011 02:45 AM
Marina Kocian
DPR Realty - Phoenix, AZ

I requested water to turn on by the utility company. It is under my name and pay the montly services, however I shut off the main valve  (to avoid any possible leaks), buyers agents just have to turn on the valve. I have seen everything from buyer's agents, so I gives me control. Water is on, but buyer's agents has to turn on and off the valve. Electricity is turn on, but main control panel is off. It is hot in Arizona and electricity bill can add. I have paid for high bills due to agents leaving AC on and all lights on.

Gas, that depends.

Hope things get better with the utility company


Marina Kocian'

DPR Realty



Oct 14, 2011 01:30 PM
Anthony Saunchez
Campa Properties - San Bernardino, CA
How can we be of service

I try to make it a habit to ckheck my listing weekly. This has helped me in the past to avert a couple of these utility issues before they get out of hand.

Mar 03, 2012 08:14 AM
John and Lisa Marker
RE/MAX Dream Properties - Northville, MI

Ah yes! One of the wonderful things about being an REO listing agent is having the privelege of paying utility bills up front and getting reimbursed later! Lol! 

Apr 03, 2012 05:10 AM
Mike Young, covering the USA - Las Vegas, NV
FHA 203k Consultant 916-758-1809

Our REO Realtor had the utilities turned on by a particular date, we got their and it wasn't on, called them and they said "it should be, as of yesterday" well it wasn't but they didn't want to refund the fee for turning it on to the Realtor. Crazy but it wasn't on when we needed it.

May 20, 2013 03:03 PM