You would think with all of the foreclosures on the market today, REAs and banks would know who is responsible, or at least, have a common procedure for de-winterizing a home for an inspection/ sell. Most of my inspections this year have been foreclosures and most have had a battle over who should have the home de-winterized.

Is this an issue in your area? Or, am I just “lucky”?

Anytime you get a call for an inspection, you should ask if all of the utilities to the home are on, and operational. I have had several inspections where they say the water is on, but I walk into the home and see winterized signs everywhere. I then do not touch any water related issue, or the main in-home water cut-off. Simply, the home needs to be professionally de-winterized by a certified plumber, in order for us to check all water related areas properly. I have actually had three homes that were not occupied in the winter, the home water turned on at the meter, and, upon arrival, see water running out the side of the home. Let all know this up front. Lenders are notorious for turning off the utilities, which is the worst thing, in my opinion, you can do to a home when it is not occupied. Damage, mold, etc. are always the norm in foreclousure homes.