Tips For Selling a Home With a Septic Tank

Posted by Justin Havre on Friday, June 30th, 2017 at 8:05am.

Informing Buyers of Septic SystemA home’s septic system should be in good repair before trying to sell a home. Watching for signs of a failing system, getting the system inspected, performing repairs and passing along that information to potential home buyers can help to save time and quickly sell a home.

Know the Signs of a Failing System

A failing septic system can devalue your home and can even enable a potential home buyer to back out of a property purchase. Recognizing the signs of a failing septic system can help you decide whether or not repairs are necessary before your home goes on the market. Some of the common warning signs to look for include:

  • Bright green spots on the lawn over the tank or leech field.
  • Standing water or saturated soil in the lawn over the tank or leech field.
  • Sewage smells on the lawn.
  • Slow drainage in the house.
  • Clogs in multiple places in the house.
  • Sewage water backing up into the lowest drains of the house. 

These warning signs could indicate that the septic tank is failing or needs to be pumped.

Have the System Inspected

Whether you’ve noticed warning signs of a septic problem or not, it’s a good idea to contact a reputable septic tank service provider for an inspection. Getting an inspection can help you determine whether or not your system needs to be repaired before putting it on the market. If the inspection turns up problems with the septic tank, contact several septic tank repair companies to get quotes for repair as well as second opinions.

Make Necessary Repairs

Home buyers who believe it is within their means to get their septic system repaired before putting their house up for sale will benefit from doing so. Septic trouble can lead to significantly lower offers on the home, sometimes even lower than the cost of repairing the septic tank. In addition, a home with deferred maintenance problems can take much longer to sell because many home buyers want to purchase a turn-key property.

Prepare Information About the System for the Buyer

Your home’s buyer will want information about the septic tank when they buy the house. Many buyers may be unfamiliar with how these things work, as they may be from an area that does not feature many, if any, septic tanks (for example, homeowners in markets like Downtown Okotoks most likely don't know anyone who uses a septic system near them) Information such as the size of the tank, the age of the tank, repairs that have been performed on the tank and the pumping schedule are useful information for the home buyer. In some cases, this information can even be helpful before the house sells.

Home buyers who pay for their own septic tank inspection may pass this information along to the septic tank inspection company. This can prevent the septic tank inspection company from making uneducated guesses about the state of the tank, and may lead to a more favorable inspection.

Pump the System if a Pumping is Due

Empty your tank if the tank is due to be pumped. Buyers like to know that the tank will not need to be pumped immediately after moving in and may feel more relaxed about purchasing a home with a clean septic tank.

Work With a Real Estate Agent

Work with a real estate agent to help the home buying process go as smoothly as possible. If questions arise concerning the process of selling a home with a septic tank, an experienced agent can help.

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