Can You Sell a House With a Failed Septic System?

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A failed septic tank is being fixed while the sale is listed for sale.

Are you considering selling your house but it has a failed septic system? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. A failed septic system can be a major obstacle when trying to sell your home. In this blog post, we will discuss the best options for you so that you can still get the best cash offer for your house. We will also provide tips for homeowners on repairing a failed septic system before selling. Keep reading for more information!

What is a Septic System?

Firstly, what is a septic system? A septic system is a self-contained sewage treatment system. It is typically used in rural areas where there is no connection to a municipal sewer system. Septic systems are usually installed when a house is built.

They are typically made up of three parts:

  • The septic tank – This is where the sewage and solids from your home collects.
  • The drain field – This is where the treated sewage from the septic tank is released.
  • The soil – This acts as a natural filter for the sewage.

How Does a Septic System Work?

Septic systems work by treating the sewage and wastewater from your home in the septic tank. The tank is typically made of concrete, fiberglass, or plastic. It is underground and watertight. The sewage enters the tank and is broken down by bacteria.

The effluent (treated sewage) then flows from the septic tank to the drain field where it is released into the soil. The soil acts as a natural filter for the effluent before it returns to groundwater.

What Causes a Septic System to Fail?

There are many reasons why a septic system can fail. Some of the most common reasons are:

  • Too much water enters the septic tank. This could be from heavy rainfall or from using too much water in your home.
  • A clog in the septic tank or drain field. This could be from things like grease, hair, or toilet paper.
  • Tree roots grow into the septic tank or drain field.
  • A broken pipe or sewer line

Signs Your Septic Tank Failed

If your septic system fails, it can have serious consequences for your home and your health. Some signs that your septic tank has failed are:

  • The drains in your home are backing up or you have slow flushing toilets.
  • There is a sewage odor coming from your drain field.
  • The ground around your septic tank or drain field is wet or soggy.
  • There are pools of standing water around your septic tank or drain field.
  • The grass in your yard is greener and lusher than usual.
Photo of a failed septic tank with tools all around it.

What To Do If Your Septic Tank Fails

If you have a bad septic system, you should contact a professional to have it repaired or replaced. This usually isn’t a do-it-yourself project. Septic tanks contain hazardous materials that can be harmful to your health if not handled properly. In addition, repairing or replacing a septic tank usually requires a permit from your local health department.

Can I Sell My House With a Failed Septic System?

It is possible to sell a house with a failed septic system, but it can be difficult. The other issue is it may not be legal to do so in some areas. The first thing you need to do is check with your local laws or county ordinances to see if they allow it. If they do, then you can move forward with the sale. If not, then you may need to get the septic system repaired before selling the house.

Most often, though, the roadblock isn’t legal but rather financial. Many lenders refuse to grant financing for a property with a failed septic system, which means that home buyers need to find a different source of financing. In these cases, the seller is required to repair the septic system before putting the house on the market. The only way around this is to sell the house to someone who does not require financing, such as a real estate investor.

Ultimately, if you decide to sell a home with a failing septic system, you’ll be confronted with a smaller pool of buyers, a lower sales price, and the potential for a significantly longer listing period. 

How to Sell a House With a Failed Septic System

You must disclose your septic system’s flaws and any other property damage to potential buyers, even if it isn’t mentioned in the home inspection. It’s the law. A septic problem can make a house less appealing to potential buyers, but there are a few things you can do to improve the property’s appeal. 

Have the System Repaired Before Selling 

The average cost of a new septic system ranges from $3,254 to $10,623. The overall expense will vary depending on the size of the tank, the degree of difficulty in installation, and local plumbing costs. The replacement costs for a tank itself may cost between $600 and $3,000, while land excavation costs a minimum of $1,200. The installation is the most expensive component of the project with an estimated cost of $3,000 to $10,000.

>> Are there grants for home repairs in TN? Find out! 

If you repair the system, your property’s value and desirability will immediately rise. However, it is a time-consuming process that may disrupt your livelihood—and you may not have the cash upfront. The first step should always be to get a quote for the work. Then you’ll know exactly what you’re dealing with. 

It’s critical to choose a company with no conflicts of interest in order to obtain the most precise quote. If you come across a company that offers repair services or has a pre-existing connection with any of the parties involved in the sale, seek someone else.

Repair the System Yourself Before Selling 

If you’re having trouble with your septic system and need a replacement, you won’t be able to make the modifications yourself unless you have prior expertise. However, if you’re only dealing with a little problem, such as a loose tank cover or surface runoff polluting the drain field, you could be able to fix it yourself. In certain situations, you may hire a local contractor to make minor to moderate repairs, potentially saving you money in the long run. 

Offer a Discount as Part of the Home Sale Negotiation 

The simplest approach to get prospective buyers is to reduce the asking price by enough money to cover the expense of a new septic system. You may also hold the cash in escrow, which allows you to guarantee and complete the repairs before the buyer takes occupancy. In many circumstances, the buyer’s lender will demand one and a half times the projected cost of the repair from you.

Sell Your Home As-Is 

If you can’t afford the repairs yourself and don’t want to deal with the hassle of trying to sell a house that is in bad shape, you may contact a real estate investor who purchases houses for cash. Many real estate investors would be happy to acquire your property “as-is” and then make the required repairs as part of their investment.

>>What To Expect When Working With A Professional Home Buyer In Knoxville

At Nexus Homebuyers, we help you sell a house fast in Tennessee, as-is, and for cash! We’ll make you a competitive offer that takes into account the market value of your property, minus repair expenses. There are no closing costs or realtor commissions, and you’re not responsible for completing the repairs yourself. And we buy houses in Chattanooga, Knoxville, and Nashville! 

Repairing a Failed Septic System Before Selling a House

If you are selling a house with a failed septic system, it is important for the seller to repair the system before putting the home on the market. Septic repairs can be expensive, but they are worth it in order to sell your home. There are many companies that specialize in septic repairs, so finding one should not be difficult.

Documenting Repairing a Failed Septic System Before Selling a House

Septic systems are an important part of many homes, but when they fail, it can be a major issue. If you are selling a home with a failed septic system, it is important to document the repairs that have been made in order to ensure that the sale goes as smoothly as possible. By having documentation of the repairs, you can prove to potential buyers that the problem has been taken care of and that they will not need to worry about it. This can help to speed up the sale process and avoid any potential problems.

If you hired someone to repair your septic tank make sure to keep all of the repair receipts and any warranties. You should also take photos of the repairs that were made so that you have visual evidence to show potential buyers. It is also a good idea to write down a brief description of the repairs that were made and when they were completed. This documentation will help to prove that you have taken care of the problem and can give buyers peace of mind knowing that the septic system is in good working order.

Selling a house with a failed septic system can be challenging, but by documenting the repairs that have been made, you can make the process much easier. By taking these steps, you can avoid any potential problems and ensure that the sale goes as smoothly as possible.

Septic Tank Inspections

If you are selling your home, it is important to have a septic tank inspection done before listing the property. This will help to ensure that there are no problems with the septic system that could potentially delay or even cancel the sale of the home. Septic tank inspections can be done by a variety of different companies, so it is important to do some research to find one that is reputable.

During the inspection, the home inspector will

  • Pump out the septic tank
  • Inspect the tank for cracks or other damage
  • Test the soil around the tank to see if it is absorbent enough

If you are selling a home with a septic system, these inspections are critical in order to ensure a smooth sale. By taking these steps, you can avoid any potential delays or problems that could occur.

Selling a house with a failed septic system can be difficult, but it is possible. The most important thing to remember is to document all repairs made to the system. This will help you avoid any legal troubles after the sale is complete. If you are having trouble finding a buyer, try offering a lower price for the home. With some effort, you should be able to sell your home without too much difficulty.

A septic system is an important part of many homes, but when they fail, it can be a major issue.

If your home has passed all inspections and is in good condition but you still have a failed septic system, there may be other options for selling your home. You could consider renting your home out until the septic system can be repaired or replaced. This would allow you to still receive income from your property while not having to worry about the cost of repairs. You could also look into selling your home as-is. This means that you would sell the home without making any repairs. This option may not be ideal, but it is an option if you are unable to make repairs or do not want to wait for a long period of time to sell your home.

Final Thoughts

Selling a house with a failed septic system can be difficult, but it is possible if you are willing to put in the extra work. If you’d rather avoid the hassle, you could sell your home as-is to cash home buyers in Knoxville. Or if you’d rather try selling a house without a realtor, with a real estate agent, or an iBuyer, you can always try that too. Whatever option you choose, make sure to document all repairs made to the septic system. This will help you avoid any legal troubles down the road. 

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