When should you turn on utilities when buying a house?

Turn on utilities before move-in, during inspection, at contract signing, upon escrow opening, and on closing day.


  1. What Should You Do Prior to Move-In?
  2. How to Prepare During Inspection Period?
  3. What Occurs Upon Escrow Opening?
  4. What Comes After Settlement Date?
  5. Tips for a Successful Home Tour
  6. Common Mistakes And Misconceptions

You should turn on utilities prior to move-in, before moving day, during the inspection period, at contract signing, upon escrow opening, before occupancy, after the settlement date, on closing day, and during the home tour.

What Should You Do Prior to Move-In?

  1. Clean carpets and floors
  2. Inspect the property
  3. Check for pests
  4. Test smoke detectors
  5. Make sure appliances are in working order
  6. Paint walls if needed
  7. Replace light bulbs
  8. Install window treatments or blinds
  9. Set up internet service and cable TV
  10. Purchase necessary furniture items
  11. Arrange for trash removal service
  12. Check water pressure and temperature of hot water heater
  13. Ensure all utilities are connected properly
  14. Organize moving day logistics

How to Prepare During Inspection Period?

  1. Prepare for the inspection by making necessary repairs, checking safety features, and inspecting plumbing and electrical systems.
  2. Look for signs of pests or mold, test appliances and fixtures, and review the inspection report carefully.
  3. Negotiate with the seller on any issues found during the inspection period and obtain estimates for repair costs.
  4. Request additional inspections if needed and understand your rights as a buyer.
  5. Know what is covered in the home warranty and be prepared to make decisions quickly.
  6. Keep all documents related to the purchase.

What Occurs Upon Escrow Opening?

Upon escrow opening, the following activities will take place: appraisal, loan approval process, finalizing the purchase agreement, transferring funds to escrow account, verifying buyer’s down payment, preparing closing documents, signing of closing documents, recording of deed and mortgage with county recorder’s office, payment of taxes, insurance, and other fees, title insurance policy issued to buyer, seller delivers keys to buyer, funds are disbursed from escrow account, loan is funded by lender, and closing statement is prepared.

What Comes After Settlement Date?

After the settlement date, the following steps should be taken: obtaining keys, transferring utilities, home inspection, final walkthrough, closing on the loan, signing documents, recording deed and mortgage, paying closing costs, receiving title insurance policy, setting up homeowners insurance, transferring taxes to new owner, receiving funds from lender, and making first mortgage payment.

Tips for a Successful Home Tour

When touring a potential new home, it is important to take pictures and notes to help you remember the details of the home. Ask questions about the home’s features and consider your budget to make sure the home is within your price range. Look for signs of wear and tear, and check out the neighborhood amenities to make sure the area is suitable for your needs.

Inspect all appliances, test water pressure in faucets and showers, and make sure windows open properly. Examine walls, ceilings, floors, and doors for damage or defects, and measure rooms to ensure furniture will fit. Check insulation levels in the attic and basement, look at the roof condition from ground level, and check the HVAC system age and efficiency. Finally, inquire about utility costs to make sure you can afford to keep the utilities on. Following these tips will help ensure a successful home tour.

Common Mistakes And Misconceptions

  1. Mistake: Turning on utilities before closing on the house.

    Explanation: Utilities should not be turned on until after the closing process is complete and you have officially taken ownership of the property. This ensures that any bills associated with the utilities are your responsibility, rather than that of the previous owner.

  2. Mistake: Assuming all utilities will need to be turned on at once.

    Explanation: Depending on your location, some utilities may already be connected when you purchase a home (e.g., water or sewer). You should check with local utility companies to determine which services need to be activated and what steps must be taken in order to do so.

  3. Misconception: Thinking that turning on utilities is an expensive process.

    Explanation: The cost of activating certain services can vary depending upon where you live and how much usage has been estimated for those services; however, it typically isn’t overly expensive or time-consuming to turn them on if they aren’t already active when purchasing a home.