Selling your home in Colorado can be an exciting journey, but when your property becomes vacant during the process, there are important considerations to keep in mind. One crucial aspect is how to manage your utilities effectively. Contrary to what some may think, it’s often advisable to keep most utilities on when your house is vacant and for sale in Colorado. In this article, we’ll provide you with valuable guidance on how to handle your utilities in a way that benefits both you as the seller and potential buyers during property inspections.
- Contact Utility Companies: Start by getting in touch with your utility providers as soon as you decide to sell your home. Notify them of your intent to keep the utilities on throughout the selling process. In Colorado, common utilities include electricity, gas, water, sewer, and trash removal.
- Electricity and Heating: Colorado’s winters can be harsh, and one of the primary concerns during a vacant period is frozen pipes. To prevent this, it’s advisable to maintain your heating system and set the thermostat to a reasonable, energy-saving temperature. A warm home not only prevents pipe damage but also provides a more welcoming environment for potential buyers during property showings.
- Gas: Just like with electricity, keeping the gas service on is generally a good idea to ensure a functional heating system. A warm and comfortable atmosphere can make a positive impression on buyers.
- Water and Sewer: To avoid freezing pipes and costly repairs, it’s usually recommended to leave your water and sewer services operational. You can set the water heater to a lower temperature to save on energy costs while still protecting your plumbing system.
- Trash Removal: Since you may not be generating as much trash in a vacant property, you may want to discontinue your trash service to save money. Just make sure everything has been removed from the property and that it’s been professionally cleaned beforehand.
- Home Maintenance: Regularly inspect your vacant property to ensure everything is in order. This includes checking for leaks, broken pipes, and signs of pests. If you plan to be away for extended periods, consider hiring a property management service to handle maintenance tasks efficiently.
- Security Measures: Empty homes can attract unwanted attention. Installing a security system or security cameras can deter potential intruders and protect your property. It also provides peace of mind to both you and potential buyers.
- Insurance: Review your homeowner’s insurance policy to ensure it adequately covers your vacant property during the selling process. Some policies may require additional coverage for vacant homes, so be sure you’re protected.
- Regular Check-Ins: If you can’t be present at the property regularly, ask a trusted friend, neighbor, or real estate agent to perform check-ins. Timely detection of issues can prevent costly repairs and ensure the property is always in show-ready condition.
When selling your home in Colorado, managing your utilities wisely is key to a successful and stress-free process. Instead of shutting off utilities, it’s often more advantageous to keep them on to prevent frozen pipes, maintain a comfortable environment for showings. Operating utilities are required for property inspections so you will have to have all utilities turned on by the time you are under contract, if not sooner. By following these guidelines, you’ll not only protect your investment but also create a more appealing and inviting space for potential buyers, increasing your chances of a successful sale.