Setting up your utilities services is certainly not the most fun part of a home purchase — it’s rather mundane and often comes with a little bit of frustration, but is crucial, especially if you want TV and internet (and electricity!) working the day you move in.
We request the list of utilities companies from the seller’s agent a couple of weeks before closing, to give you plenty of time to get them set up in your name. The gas and electric service can be set up in advance to transfer to you on the day of closing (in some cases, a transfer of service should prevent new connection charges from being charged to you). You’ll also want to call your TV and internet provider asap as most likely you’ll need to set up an appointment with them to come out and install service and it can take weeks to get the appointment. Here are a few tips about utilities:
- ELECTRIC: The electric company that services your home will be determined by where your home is located; we will make sure that we have that information from the seller.
- GAS: Gas service, however, is deregulated in Georgia, meaning you can choose any gas company available in the state for your service. We provide you with a couple of recommendations prior to closing, but gas rates and discount offers differ by company and it can pay to shop around.
- TRASH: Depending on where your home is located, trash pick-up service may be included in your county or city property taxes, which means you likely don’t need to set up this service (but you may need to call to request that trash cans be delivered to the home — we will try to find out this information from the seller). Additionally, some larger neighborhoods may have a contract with a trash company and you may be required to use that company.
WATER SERVICE is a different story — since the water/sewer service in Georgia, in most cases, is run by the county or the city in which the home is located, you will need to wait until after you own the home (meaning, after closing) to transfer the water into your name. For this reason, we ask that the seller leave the water service in their name for two business days after closing. We recommend transferring water service immediately after closing (or immediately the following morning, if your closing is late afternoon). Most counties will allow you to upload your application and proof of closing/your closing statement via email or online — we will not only remind you of this closer to closing, but also make sure you have the correct application for your water service transfer. CLICK HERE to view the applications and instructions for the each of the counties and cities we most regularly serve (if you do not see the county or city that you need, please contact us!).
If you’re buying a townhouse or a condo, many of the utilities (and sometimes all of them) may be included in your monthly HOA fee. We will find this out from the seller, and make sure that you know before you start calling to set up your services. We will also check with the seller to see if either cable or internet are included in your HOA fee.
In all cases except for water, it’s important to make sure that your utilities transfer into your name as of the day of closing, to avoid any interruption in service.