Day of Closing Be A Nightmare
Bear with me here on this story. There is a moral to this story (for me) and thought I would share it with you. On Tuesday of this week, one of my clients had a closing at 10:00 am. She was a very excited “first time buyer”. Let’s call her Sandra (name is changed for privacy).
Sandra came to me as a very prepared first time buyer. She had done her homework. She was already pre-qualified and knew her comfort price range. We discussed her “WISH LIST” and started looking at homes. Within 2 weeks, we found THE ONE!
She got under-contract – a Great Home, Great Location, Good Condition and Great Price.
The inspection went well, a few repairs….no problems….
Appraisal brought about a price adjustment, but that hurdle got fixed and all was well.
I reminded her to get the utilities changed to her name prior to closing. The utility company here will get all your info and have you “IN” their system so that when the seller orders a disconnect – they actually do a final meter reading rather than a disconnect.
On the morning of the closing, we do a walk-though before going to the closing.
Hmmm…???? the utilities are off.
At closing, the seller says he moved out early and had the utilities off earlier than the buyer expected. The closing was done and all papers signed. Sandra was proud of herself and very happy. That day was the first day she FINALLY owned a home.
Now the nightmare…..
Unknown to me…..Sandra waits at the home for hours…waiting for Mr. Utility Man to come turn the Water, Electricity, and Natural Gas back on.
- Problem #1 – When Mr. Utility Man turns on the water at the meter box – a geyser erupts in the front yard. Mr. Utility Man informs Sandra that the pipe problem is on the home-side of the meter in the front yard and NOT his problem. He tells her to call a plumber – and turns the water back off.
- Problem #2 – The natural gas is turned on and Mr. Utility Man goes to light the pilot at the water heater. It has a nice thermal blanket on it. He opens the blanket and tries to light it and POOF…the blanket is on fire resulting in melted plastic dial. Mr. Utility Man “red tags” the water heater and tells Sandra it must be REPLACED prior to getting the gas back on.
My phone rings at 4:00 pm that afternoon, and it’s Sandra, crying ….. I can visualize her standing in her driveway on her cell phone and she’s crying, and she says “How can this be?” “What should I do?” “Who will pay for this?”
I immediately shifted into rescue mode and told her I was on my way. Luckily, I got a hold of my Handyman (thanks Jacques) and made arrangements for the plumber (thanks Kevin & crew).
Within 24 hours all was repaired. I was determined to fix this nightmare and I was NOT going to let my client have a BAD memory of that special day. Yep, it cost me some $$$$ but, having a happy client will bring future referrals. I like to think of this as paying it forward.
NOBODY should be crying in their driveway on the day they buy their first home!
The moral of this story for ME is that I will never have ANY client do a walk-though or closing if the utilities are OFF. I won’t make this mistake again.