As you know, we try to be your resource when it comes to handling or preventing a claim. This one, however, was one that had not even crossed our minds until last month. We had never gotten calls about “Ice Cube” damage, and recently we have heard stories of two instances. One call came in from a homeowner who was selling their home; another one came in from a client buying a home. No, it was not the same house. Just in case you were wondering.
Let me share with you how it happened:
In today’s housing market, it is typical for the closing date to change. After all, it is just changing the date from one day to another, correct? Well, at least that’s what most people think. A little bit of a pain sometimes but not a deal-breaker. That’s precisely what these two homeowners were thinking as well. However, it became much more than that when the home did not close on time.
Before the day of the closing, many things take place. Some of those have to do with changing the utilities, and that’s where the trouble begins. Thinking that they were closing the next day, the homeowners went ahead and scheduled the power to be turned off, allowing the buyers to start the services in their name. Then closing got pushed back. Still, it didn’t seem like a big deal. The house had been cleaned out and ready for the new closing date; no one was there, so not having the power, not a problem.
Everything cleaned out except for the ice cubes in the freezer.
Since the power was off, the freezer began to heat up. The ice cubes decided they could escape the heat by turning into water and exiting out the front of the water/ice cube dispenser. Sliding down the freezer door, welcomed by the hardwood floors. The hardwood floors were hot as well and soaked up as much water as they could hold. So much, that they began to lose their shape and started to get very uncomfortable. Which then became very painful for the buyer and seller. Coldwater can be refreshing, but in this scenario, it wasn’t.
There has to be a lesson here, correct? Well, there is. Wait until the new buyers have taken possession of your home before switching utilities over. The extra cost for the additional days will be far, far less than your deductible, or the risk of losing your buyer at the final walkthrough.