inspecting 83 year old home

this home is on the market but is not occupied,
its winter time (-22) weather.

what or how should I inquire about utilities with realitor?
i would think they might be off, and blocked in, but…

any suggestions, anyone had the same, what did you do?

IMO either they want an inspection or they don’t. If so, note all restrictions in report.

I ask my client, when they schedule the inspection, if the utilities are on and operational. I explain that I cannot turn on valve, circuit breakers, light pilots, etc. for insurance reasons and that I do charge for return trips if needed because utilities were not on.

I advise them to verify the utilities are on with their Realtor so that leaves me out of the loop of responsibility on it. This is all, also, in writing.

Then, when I get to the home, I inspect it in the condition that I find it noting things that were not inspected.

cool thanks for the replies

What Larry said. Further, with no heat(if thats the case when you get there), definately comment on possible frozen piping as you are not sure of the wiinterizing of the home. And if its really too cold to do an inspection without putting your ***** on the line, call the inspection off until a better day(at a cost to the client). Not your fault theres no heat. Good luck with it.

Ask the realtor before if they are on, mention the limitations it places on you if they cannot be tested. Leaks, hot and cold on right sides, do faucets all work? etc … you get the point!

I did one like that Wednesday.

135 yr old farm house with several additions. Heat was on electrical was working but the plumbing system, well and pump were all winterized.

Forget about having the water on, no one will want to re-activate and then have to winterize it again.

Disclaim the entire system but do a visual - evidence of leaks etc. make sure to mention that to the client before you start.

I have the following verbage for just this situation

“Water supply turned off at time of inspection. The plumbing system could only be inspected visually. Review of the system operation is not possible. Client is advised to review operation of plumbing system prior to close.”

Indicate all faucets, drains water heater etc as “not inspected, unable to determine condition.”

I do suggest that they get their lawyer to get a commitment to have water on on closing date.

Otherwise just do your thing.:wink:

Hope this helps


it was a chilly inspection, we got her done.
Client phoned realitor and realitor got the water works on for me, in time.
Nasty brown water came out of those taps, yuk.
Boiler system that had not been up dated since house was built, still wrapped in what looks like asbestos, nasty