Should Buyers Inspect Septic Tanks?

Should Buyers Inspect Septic Tanks?

Should buyers inspect septic tanks? When making a home purchase, many rural areas do not have public sewer service. In these cases, a septic tank is used, and it is buried under the ground usually down a foot or two. These tanks are recommended to be pumped out 3-5 years, depending on with whom you speak. The more people, the more flushes, the more laundry, the more showers. If you start having a back up, call your septic service quick.

During a buyer’s inspection period, buyers are afforded an opportunity to inspect the septic system. There are many types of systems such as an engineered dosing systems, and most often in Sacramento County you will see leech lines running from the septic.

I had an instance where a buyer did not inspect the tanks as they felt when the time came they would just replace it. In some counties, you can not put in a new tank if you live within a public sewer system area, then the city can force you to hook up and then the buyer is responsible for all the costs. Keep in mind this can be $50,000, more or less.

Another seller I represented used a monthly chemical treatment and thought his septic system was fine. I advised them to do an inspection clean out and they declined. The new buyers did an inspection and the tanks failed. With only 7 days left to close it was an Act of Congress to get the repair completed on time but, we did it. All new system and leech lines were needed. We also had to break out part of the concrete driveway, which cost $5000 and over, resulting in $15,000 in costs at the final hour.

A buyer in Sutter County took my advice and did a septic inspection. The tanks were failing as the leech lines were used up and not working properly. They had to pay to pump out each month until the new sewer came into their area, in about 18 months.

Should a buyer inspect septic tanks? For a $500 expense, it is always a good idea to inspect. You never know what kind of repairs are needed, but often times you can get your money back and then some regarding the cost of inspection. Tanks may very well need some work, even if the tank is still in tip top shape.

If you are selling or buying a home with a septic tank, call Weintraub & Wallace Realtors. We sell buildable lots, ranchettes and 80+ acre ranches. We have amazing companies that perform the inspections and pump outs. Call us today at 916-233-6759. We are with RE/MAX Gold.

— JaCi Wallace

JaCi Wallace
Weintraub & Wallace

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