Grand Rapids Michigan Real Estate Blog

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Change the Batteries BEFORE This Happens to Your Vacant Home

We have a vacant listing. It is a nice listing, clean, neat, 4 bedroom two story

home that I showed last Saturday.  It was a changed house when I showed it

again on Monday.  We had record setting low temperatures here over last

weekend and the batteries failed in the thermostat. 

                         NO HEAT! 

 

                        Frozen pipes.

 

batteries

 

Needless to say, I sprinted to the store, bought batteries, and got the furnace

going again.  I also turned off the water to try and eliminate as much damage

as possible.  When the house warmed up, sure enough, a water pipe broke

between the kitchen ceiling and the upstairs bathroom, according to the

plumber. 

 So, the morale of the story is: If you have a vacant home listed,

change the batteries in that thermostat---don't take chances!  Even a

weekend trip could put your home in danger!

This story has a fairly decent ending, we have 2 offers on the home 

and the sellers insurance company will cover the majority of the repairs.

 

Grand Rapids Ada Real Estate ~ Westbrook Realty

Copyright 2009 All rights reserved

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons Flickr stream:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/osde-info/2514938367/ 

 

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Comment balloon 14 commentsTerry & Bonnie Westbrook • January 23 2009 04:27PM

Comments

Terry:  Great tip!  That's nothing I would have thought of.  I'm glad I stopped by your blog.

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) almost 11 years ago

OMG Terry - What a nightmare.  We in Florida seldom think about freezing pipes, but with temps in the 20's in some parts of Florida the past 3 nights, I wouldn't be surprised if it happened here as well.  You're a good guy to sprint into action, I hope your sellers realize the extras you do :-)  Good luck with the offers....looks like you're under a silver lining.  Have a great weekend!

Posted by Gail MacMillan almost 11 years ago

I know a listing broker who this happened to and a claim was made against his E&O insurance.  You might want to ensure that the seller's insurer will cover a vacant property - many of them have greatly reduced coverages.  And even in the event that they cover the claim, they still may want to subrogate the payment to your E&O carrier.  Good Luck with it!

Posted by Martin Kalisker, Professional Standards & Legal Assistant (Greater Boston Association of REALTORS) almost 11 years ago

Terry..this is a story that will be repeated as long as we have winters, We have condo projects here that have a simple plug in red light, that can be place near a window so the association staff will see a issue when they drive by.might be worth looking into for vacant homes, the light comes on at low temps, and can be seen from a distance.

Posted by Steve Loynd, 800-926-5653, White Mountains NH ( Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., ) almost 11 years ago

Chris: I guess it didn't stick with me the furnace and thermostat are only a few years old I never thought to change the batteries. I will in the future.

Posted by Terry & Bonnie Westbrook, Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re (Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner) almost 11 years ago

Gail: Each area does have it's own issues we just need to be prepared for them.

Posted by Terry & Bonnie Westbrook, Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re (Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner) almost 11 years ago

Martin: I guess when they have a loss they look for any way to reduce it.

Posted by Terry & Bonnie Westbrook, Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re (Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner) almost 11 years ago

Steve: I thought the neighbor was looking in on the house only to find out he lost his job and just moved out of his house and let it go back to the bank.  Good idea about the light.

Posted by Terry & Bonnie Westbrook, Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re (Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner) almost 11 years ago

Hello Terry, we have a similar problem in our MLS County. Your don't know until you have a problem. The range is a 2 year range and so you never know when the lockbox will quit working. So happy about that. You would think with technology we could manage battery issues. I guess we are not thankful for what we do have! Good post!

Posted by Jeanean Gendron, Specializing in Selling Unique Properties (The Address Realty) almost 11 years ago

Jeanean: Our lock boxes do tell us when the battery is getting low but we need to have a spare and changing it in this weather is no fun.

Posted by Terry & Bonnie Westbrook, Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re (Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner) almost 11 years ago

While it is not as cold here, this is always a great reminder! (Especially for those of us that used to live in California!)

Posted by Diane Aurit, Lake Norman Real Estate (LKN Realty, LLC) almost 11 years ago

Diane: The weather report says cold down south hope your pipes are warm.

Posted by Terry & Bonnie Westbrook, Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re (Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner) almost 11 years ago

Terry,

I didn't know that thermostats had batteries!  Thanks for posting.

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) almost 11 years ago

Mike: It is the first thing I'll do from now on for a vacant listing have the batteries replaced.

Posted by Terry & Bonnie Westbrook, Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re (Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner) almost 11 years ago

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