Why turning off the water in vacant listings is very important - video

Real Estate Agent with Tim Francis Realty LLC

Tim Francis Realty LLC sells, leases and property manages executive homes in Atlanta.  We believe if the home is vacant the water should be turned off.  The reduction in a water issue is greatly minimized over the minor inconvenience of not having water.    Just two hours earlier I was doing a move-out inspection with a tenant and the water wasn't running.  It took me a few minutes to remember that my broker (and husband) told me he had turned the water off already, since the property was vacant temporarily.


Over the years, we've had two neighbors have problems - one while on vacation and another with a vacant home.   Today, three hours after that move-out inspection, while walking the dog I noticed the neighbors driveway was soaking wet (and it was sunny) and that the brick was wet a few bricks up from the foundation.    We went home and got our handy water turn off key.   This is a great tool to have at your home.


Unfortuantely, here is the water CASCADING down from an unknown source on the second floor:


Over the years I have thought my husband was being a bit conservative turning off the water at the house when we go on vacation.  Seeing this, I am the nut and turning off your water is the right way to go when you are not around to solve life's unexpected challenges.  Water problems can start as simply as a running/overflowing toilet and you won't believe the problems you can get from that.


Do you turn your water off when you vacation?  Do you recommend that clients with vacant properties turn their water off?    Will you now?



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Information and content on this blog is original to Michelle Francis  

Michelle Francis

Tim Francis Realty, Serving Buckhead, Atlanta & Sandy Springs GA

(404) 219-9760



Want to know more about Residential Buying, Selling, Executive Home Leasing & Property Management in Buckhead, Brookhaven, Garden Hills and Sandy Springs, GA?

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Comments (11)

Pamela Seley
West Coast Realty Division - Murrieta, CA
Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA

Yes! Turn off the water to the home when it is going to be vacant for any period of time. Water damage is very expensive. 

Jun 30, 2014 01:01 PM
Frank Iglesias
Working With Houses, LLC - Atlanta Real Estate Investments - Lawrenceville, GA
Atlanta, GA Real Estate Investor

This is a a very useful reminder, Michelle. Great blog!

Wishing you peace and success with everything...

Have a blast on the 4th of July!!! 

Jul 02, 2014 11:26 PM
1~Judi Barrett
Integrity Real Estate Services 116 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745 - Idabel, OK
BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK

Not a good situation nor a good thing to come home to!  Excellent reminder to think about those things. 

Jul 08, 2014 12:55 PM
Michelle Francis
Tim Francis Realty LLC - Atlanta, GA
Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease


It kind of astounding to experience it.  


Yes, the video provides the additional impact for how truly bad it is.


Something we are trying to avoid.  Now I will not give my husband any grief about turning off the water for even a few day vacation.

All the best, Michelle

Jul 09, 2014 09:27 AM
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

Michelle:  My heart goes out to these people.  Water .. leaks ... create so many problems and messes.  And "cha-ching" ... the costs rise with the water.  I had a transaction fail to Close on time just a short while back because of a similar issue.  Eventually it did transact ... but there was a huge delay, major costs to the Seller, and lots of frustration and aggrevation on everyone's part.  Your suggestion to turn off the water is an excellent .. and timely one ...


Jul 27, 2014 07:51 AM
Lloyd Pro Group
Lloyd Pro Group - Duluth, GA

Unfortunately In the Atlanta home insurance biz we get a lot of wet messes like this one.

Think tooof how the thousands of dollars of repairs and the possiblity of the fear of mold could be a turn off for future buyers.

Thanks for making the point so clearly!

Aug 11, 2014 04:20 AM
Pete Xavier
Investments to Luxury - Pacific Palisades, CA
Outstanding Agent Referrals-Nationwide

One big leak often leads to an expensive repair, not too many vacant homes have the water shut off over here.

Oct 10, 2014 03:22 PM
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Michelle - Water is not a house's friend as evidenced by your video.

Jan 28, 2015 01:40 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC

OH DEAR!!!!  That is horrible, Michelle!  I don't blame you for being obsessive about turning it off now!  WOW!

Aug 22, 2016 11:34 AM
Jane Peters
Home Jane Realty - Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles real estate concierge services

That sounds like a great idea if a home is going to be vacant for any extended time. Better safe than sorry.

Aug 24, 2016 07:05 AM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC

Just popping by to check on a new AR post from you, Michelle! 

Hope you're having a fantastic week!

Jan 29, 2018 09:30 PM