Columbus Ohio real estate

Wouldn't you know I just bought the house and the furnace died

Reuben Saltzmans old furnaceBob Timm in Minot ND wrote: "Wouldn't you know I just bought the house and the furnace died."  It's a story from a real estate agent in Minot where it is a lot colder than Columbus usually.   A buyer called Bob  after closing to say the furnace was dead.  I hope it was not the dead of winter.  Bob writes:

"The point of this post is just to remind everyone involved in a home sale, the Buyer, the Seller, and the Agents to remember little details like keeping the lights on and the furnace running."

In most cases in Central Ohio it takes gas or electric to keep that furnace running.

When Bob got a call from a client saying "Wouldn't you know I just bought the house and the furnace died" he writes:

As a Realtor I'm glad I've only received a phone call like this once in the last 5 years. My first thought was: Did we purchase the Home Warranty?. My second thought was did I remind the new home owner to call the gas company and have the service switched over to their name on the day of the closing?

Central Ohio home buyers, in your contract the date that the utilities would be switched over may be closing, if possession is at closing.

In Bob's story, Bob's buyers had not switched the utilites to their name.

Possession - the point in time where you possess the property

In your purchase contract you negotiated a date to take possession of the property.  That is the date the utilities including gas and electric should be in your name, unless your contract says otherwise.  If you are my client there is a list of utility companies in your Real Living Compliance Manual (red book)  to help you set up the utilties.

If the utilities are in your name... there is gas or electric.  What's next?  In Bob's story he says:   My first thought was: Did we purchase the Home Warranty?

In your purchase contract it says whether there was a home warranty issued on the property for your protection as the new home owner.  Your purchase contract will tell you who the home warranty company is. The seller may have had any number of different policies in effect at the time of closing and provided that policy to you.  If you have a home warranty there was paperwork at the closing which gives you  phone numbers for service, their customer service phone number  and / or websites to answer any questions about the warranty on your home. The home warranty contract will also give you the number that identifies your property.

You need that number to get service.

So if " "Wouldn't you know I just bought the house and the furnace died"  happens to you... or the water heater sprung a leak... or half of the house does not have electricity... or the dishwasher stops washing...  look for your closing papers and home warranty contract.

Real Living HER HomeGard


American Home Shield -


HomeGard of Ohio -

Real Living HER (formerly HER Realtors) listings the home warranty is often HomeGard...  not always.  If the seller is listed with another company it could be many different policies.

Follow the directions in your home warranty contract.

Central Ohio Home buyers - FREE HVAC maintenace with HomeGard policy

Columbus Ohio real estate home maintenance

Columbus Ohio real estate - Real Living HomeGard Home Warranty

It's Furance Friday in Columbus Ohio... and Earth Day and Good Friday...

Image Credit The furnace pictured is Reuben Saltzman's old furnace, photo used with permission. The furnace was not dead.  He's a home inspector, he's in Minnesota. He replaced his furnace before it died.



This post provided by Maureen McCabe HER Realtors*

Contact Maureen McCabe of HER Realtors* - 614.388.8249

HER Realtors  Maureen McCabe

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*Real Living HER

Information is deemed to be accurate but should be verified to your satisfaction.  Information provided herein is supplied by several sources and is subject to change without notice.  Opinions expressed are solely those of Maureen McCabe.



Comment balloon 9 commentsMaureen McCabe • April 22 2011 09:16AM


I purchased my home some years back, pulled up to unload furniture only to see water running under the garage doors and down the driveway. The water heater had rotted out at the base and had sprung a leak. Luckily I had acquired a home warranty which eased the repair costs; I only had to pay for the service call. Things do happen despite inspections and the best of efforts.

Posted by Mike Mayer (Mike Mayer, Broker/Owner - i List For Less Realty, LLC) about 8 years ago

Hi Maureen,  I always recommend the Home warranty, sometimes the warranty expired then something broke ( owner didn't renew the coverage) 

Posted by Kwee Huset, Venice Florida Homes For Sale (Kwee Huset Realty) about 8 years ago

Hi Maureen, it's always a good idea to provide buyers and sellers with a checklist of items they need to take of before Closing and than check back with them to be sure they did them!

I've had it happen re city water transfers where even though buyer, seller and myself made sure proper folks were notified so there would be no break in service -- they still messed up and it is quite a feat getting them out there to correct it especially at the end of the week.

And than of course as Mike said, there are always those things that were performing the service they were intended for and were just waiting to break down after the Closing!

Sue of Robin and Sue

Posted by Robin Dampier REALTOR®, Hendersonville & Western NC Real Estate Source (Coldwell Banker King) about 8 years ago

I haven't sold a resale home without a home warranty in 20 years.  It's good risk reduction for buyers, sellers and agents.  If the seller refuses to pay for it, I pay for it as a closing gift. 

Good business.

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) about 8 years ago

Mike  Here usually the basement would be filling up with water from the water heater... or headed toward the floor drain.  I would rather have it running to the street and messing up a garage but basements are wonderful things sometimes.

Kwee most sales in our area have one.  

Buyers (home owners)  often call me about HomeGard  (or another warranty ) because I show up better in search engines than HomeGard or Real Living HER when it comes to HomeGard.  I always have.   Home owners who I have no relation to.  I have to tell them to look for their papers from closing and use the contact info in their contract.   The link which is not linked has the phone number for repairs. 1-866-607-9907

Or they email me here or on my website for help.  All  I can tell them is to contact HomeGard.

Lenn I had a buyer refuse one a few years ago  but our market they are on 95% of sales?  99% no that seems too high. 

He felt he did not need a home inspection either. 

Sue I had a nightmare with utilities a couple of months ago.  Water and sewer readings.

Posted by Maureen McCabe, Columbus Ohio Real Estate (HER Realtors) about 8 years ago


A good reminder about changing utilities AND the home warranty. Here in Calilfornia the seller generally pays for a home warranty for the buyer, except in the case of short sales and REOs. IN those cases the buyer pays for it (money well spect IMO) but I have purchased them as closing gifts as well.


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (Solutions Real Estate ) about 8 years ago

Maureen, what a valuable post. I always make sure that the seller buys the Home Warranty and part and parcel of the closing the escrow company provide the brochure with the contact numbers, so when I do get that call I can say please check the Closing packet and it is in there:)) for the disorganized clients I keep a copy for myself and provide them with the phone number and everyone is happy.

Posted by Endre Barath, Jr., Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices) about 8 years ago


Murphys law at it's best. Happy Easter to you and your family

Posted by Tom Braatz Waukesha County Real Estate 262-377-1459, Waukesha County Realtor Real Estate agent. SOLD! (Coldwell Banker) about 8 years ago

Maureen - Home warranties are well worth the money no matter who pays for them.  I always make sure to remind the buyers to make sure that the utilities transfer to their name on the day of closing.  I also remind the listing agent to have the sellers leave the utilities on until the day of closing so that there will be water and electric for our final aolk through the day before closing.

Posted by Pam Dent, REALTOR® - Charlottesville Virginia Homes / Horse (Gayle Harvey Real Estate, Inc.) about 8 years ago