A smooth property closing process is the goal for all parties involved and understanding how final utility payments are handled is important. In the State of Washington, unpaid utility charges can become liens on the property, rather than attaching to the owner of the property as an individual.

To facilitate the payoff of utilities at closing, here’s a breakdown of the process:

Seller’s Duty to Inform: Sellers must inform the closing agent of all utilities providing service to the property.

Closing Agent’s Role: If the buyer and seller opt to pay utilities at closing, it becomes the closing agent’s responsibility to coordinate payment. They’ll request final bills from utility providers and utilize seller funds to settle these bills.

Utility Providers’ Responsibilities: Utility providers must promptly respond to final bill requests from the closing agent. Failure to do so can result in the extinguishment of liens on the property, protecting the new owner from past utility debts.

Accuracy in Estimates: Utility providers must provide accurate estimates to the closing agent. These estimates determine the amount owed and limit the implicit lien. Any additional amounts owed by the seller must be collected separately.

By adhering to these guidelines, the interests of buyers, sellers, and utility providers alike are safeguarded.








Seller’s duty to inform closing agent/Written waiver/Closing agent’s duties/Utility’s duties/Payment of final billing by Washington State: https://app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=60.80.020

Utility Payoff at Closing in Washington State by Web Check: https://www.web-check.net/articles/utility-payoff-at-closing-in-washington-state