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Want to Sell Your House but the Septic System Failed? What You Need to Know

Sell Your House

One of the things that you know when you sell your house is that everything needs to run well and be in good shape. This can be tricky, especially if you have a septic system in your home.

If you are selling your house or you want to sell it, chances are that there are some things that you want to know before you put your house on the market. If your house has a septic system that has failed, one of the things you want to know is can you sell a house with a failed septic system.

If this is a situation you haven’t been in before, you should know that it’s going to be overwhelming. However, the good news is that you can sell a house even with a failed septic system. Below is the information you should know.

What’s the Home’s Septic System

They’re used when the house isn’t connected to the public sewers. It’s the house’s onsite facility for sewage treatment. It’s what treats that wastewater from your plumbing activities to help you avoid contamination of the water supply.

Chances are that the first thing that comes to mind is a septic tank. However, they’re just one part.  There are three parts to it:

  • The distribution box – This is where the wastewater goes after leaving your septic tank. This ensures that the sewage gets distributed evenly in your drain field.
  • The drain field – Also known as a leach field, this is found underground and it’s where a home’s wastewater goes. Without this, you’d have a problem with an overflowing tank.
  • The Septic Tank – It’s where the sewage is collected. When your sink is drained, your toilet is flushed or you shower, that wastewater goes into this tank.

What are Title 5 Inspections?

In the majority of states, homes that have septic systems require this type of inspection before they’re sold. This is done to confirm that the system’s properly maintained and running smoothly. The inspector is going to look at the structure of the septic system to make sure that they aren’t any flaws in the design which could lead to trouble in the future.  

How Will Can You Know the System Failed Before You Sell Your House?

The majority of issues with septic systems are because of inconsistent maintenance and poor design. Some signs that your septic system is failing will include:

  • Sewage backs up into your household drains
  • Flooding around the septic system or inside the basement
  • There’s a strong smell close to the septic tank
  • You have gurgling sounds that are coming from the drains
  • The water in your well has a lot of bacteria in it
  • There are gurgling sounds in the drains

If you are noticing any of these above, you want to contact a company that services septic tanks quickly so that your system doesn’t deteriorate further.

Is It Possible to Sell Your House if the Septic System Failed?

Whether or not you’re able to sell your house when its septic system is broken is going to depend on a few factors. In some of the states, it’s illegal to do so. For Massachusetts, here is an interesting blog that you can read.

If you discovered that it failed during the inspection, you find your sale’s delayed. If you can’t repair it before the sale closes, it may be that the lender is going to request some repair money be held as an escrow. This amount is usually 1.5 times the average amount that’s needed for a replacement septic system. For instance, if the price to replace the septic system will be $20K, the escrow amount will be $30K.

Unfortunately, this option is not always offered by lenders. Some of them won’t let the buyer close until the septic system’s replaced or repaired. Sometimes, a buyer will have to give up on buying the house because they have an inflexible lender.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace or Repair the Septic Before You Sell Your House

How much it will cost is going to depend on several factors, including how big your home is. The number of bedrooms that are in the home can impact the replacement costs greatly because the tank is going to need to be able to handle a lot of occupants.

This cost can greatly vary depending on what is needed. For instance, if it’s just the tank that needs replacement, the average cost for replacement is anywhere from $3,000 to $6000. However, this can run higher depending on the kind of materials that are chosen.

That being said, if your whole system needs replacing, including your tank, drain field, and distribution box, this is going to run you anywhere from $10K to $25K.

However, there is some good news. New septic systems can last a few decades based on the materials that are used. For instance, steel septic tanks last anywhere from 15 to 20 years. If you choose a tank made from concrete, it can last as long as 40 years.

If your home has a septic system and you think that you may sell it at some point, one of the things that you want to do is make sure that you are taking care of it. This means doing a few things:

  • Having it pumped regularly – How often you need to have this done is going to depend on how many people are in your household. When more people are living there, the tank is going to fill up a lot more.
  • Watching what goes down the drain – You want to make sure that you are watching what you put down the drain. Things like grease, hair, tampons, condoms, and other things should never go down the drain. You should only flush toilet paper, fecal matter, and urine.
  • Watching for the signs of trouble – Finally, watch for the signs of trouble that we mentioned above and call in a professional if you see any of them.

Now you know what can happen if you have a failed septic system and you try selling your house the typical way. However, the good news is that you can sell your house even with a failed septic system when you sell it to us because we don’t mind. We buy houses in any condition. Contact us here to find out more and get a no-obligation quote.

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