Buying a new home is an exciting journey, but it’s easy to overlook the practical aspects of moving amidst the excitement. One crucial aspect is transferring utilities from the seller to the buyer. This process ensures you have the essential services you need when moving in.

This guide will take you through the steps of transferring utilities and provide valuable tips for a smooth transition.


1. Transfer Utilities from Seller to Buyer

Transferring utilities from the seller to the buyer involves changing the account information for various essential services. Here’s a breakdown of some key utilities you’ll need to transfer.

Electricity and Gas

Contact the local utility providers and inform them of the home purchase. You’ll need to provide details such as your name, contact information, and the closing date. The utility company will update the account to reflect your ownership, and you’ll be responsible for future bills.  Some utility companies will require a deposit or for you to stop in and sign forms in person.


Water and Sewer

Similar to electricity and gas, get in touch with the local water and sewer utility department. They’ll guide you through the process of transferring the account into your name.


Trash and Recycling

Contact the waste management service for your area to update your information. This step is often straightforward and can typically be done over the phone.


Internet, Cable, and Phone

Call them to update your address and account information if you plan to keep the same service provider. Schedule installation or activation at your new home if you’re switching providers.


2. How Much Does It Cost to Transfer Utilities?

The cost of transferring utilities varies depending on your location and service providers. Sometimes, there may be a nominal fee for transferring accounts or updating account information. It’s essential to contact each utility provider to inquire about any associated costs so you can add them to your budget.

Remember that utility companies often require a security deposit from new customers, which can vary based on your account status or credit history.


3. When to Disconnect Utilities

When you’re preparing to move, it’s crucial to coordinate the disconnection of utilities at your current residence. Timing is key in these situations, so plan to disconnect your utilities the day after you no longer own the home.  This may be your move out date or it may be later. This ensures that you have access to these services until you leave.

Inform your current utility providers about your moving date well in advance. This allows them to schedule the disconnections and ensures you won’t be billed for services after you’ve moved out. Ensure you leave them a forwarding address so they can send you any final bills or refunds for your previous residence.


4. How Long Does It Take to Transfer Utilities?

The timeline for transferring utilities can vary based on several factors, including utility providers’ responsiveness, the transfer’s complexity, and local regulations. However, here’s a quick general timeline to keep in mind:


2-4 Weeks Before Your Move

Begin transferring utilities once your new home has a confirmed closing date. Remember to be patient; some utility providers may need more time to process the transfer and update their records. You can still follow up if necessary.


1-2 Days Before Your Move

Contact the utility providers to confirm everything is for a seamless transition.


5. Tips for Transferring Utilities When Purchasing a Home

To make the utility transfer process as smooth as possible, consider these valuable tips:


  • Create a Checklist: List all the utility providers you need to contact and the necessary information you’ll need to provide, such as your new address and the closing date.
  • Schedule Ahead: Don’t wait until the last minute to initiate the transfer. Start the process early to avoid any service delays.
  • Research Service Providers: Confirm the list of utility providers in your new area. You may have different providers or options, so research and choose the services that best meet your needs.
  • Keep Records: Maintain a record of all communication with utility providers, including names of representatives, dates, and reference numbers. This documentation can be invaluable if any issues arise.
  • Plan for Installation: If you’re moving to a new area or switching providers, schedule the installation of internet, cable, and phone services well in advance to ensure you have connectivity when you move in or soon afterward.
  • Update Billing Information: Promptly update your billing information for utilities like electricity and gas to avoid any service disruptions.
  • Be Prepared for Interruptions: There may be brief interruptions in these services while transferring utilities. Be prepared for this and plan accordingly.


Transferring utilities when purchasing a home is crucial in ensuring a seamless transition to your new residence. By following these steps and tips, you can avoid as many potential hiccups as possible and enjoy the convenience of having essential services ready and waiting when you move in.