Should I Test My Septic And Well Before Listing My Home?

You’re ready to sell your home, check. Set up a home inspection? Check. Figured out your method of selling? Check. Came up with a listing price? Check. Tested your septic system and well—huh?!

Checking your septic system and well is a step that’s often overlooked in the selling process. RealtyHive is here to explain why having these things tested can help your home’s listing price and more.

RealQuick: Do I have a septic system and well?

Great question! Most homeowners already know this answer, but this is good information for any potential homebuyers who haven’t dealt with a septic system and well in the past.

The majority of homes are connected to a sanitary sewer system. However, older homes and rural homes usually have their own water supply (a well). If you have a well, you have a septic system. Septic tanks are necessary to clear out waste and keep your water clean.

Still not sure if you have a septic system and well? Here are some ways you can double check:

How to figure out if you have a septic system

  1. Look at a utility bill.

    If you were charged for wastewater treatment, you probably don’t have a septic tank. Call your utility company to confirm if you’re unsure—some places still charge even if you’re not using public water.

  2. Call the health department.

    They should have records indicating a septic system was installed at your property.

  3. Contact septic system specialists.

    Contractors or specialists will be able to locate your tank. However, this can be expensive if you end up not having a septic system.

If you do have a septic system, then you can get it tested on this visit, which leads us to our next point!

Why test your septic system and well?

The biggest reason is that you want to be sure your water is safe and that wastewater is properly treated. Exposure to contaminated water can make you or anyone in your home very sick. 

But the other huge advantage to getting a well and septic inspection has to do with selling your home. If everything is in great condition, you can raise your selling price accordingly. If your tank is not doing so hot, it will negatively impact your home’s listing price—unless you get it fixed before putting your home on the market.

Does a home inspection include a septic test?

When going through a trusted inspector, home inspections are very thorough—but they do not include septic tank inspections. This is because a septic tank test is pretty extensive, not to mention intrusive. 

Septic systems are located underground. In order to test them, contractors find where they’re buried, dig into the ground, and pump out the sludge and wastewater if a problem is suspected.

Since most people are connected to city water lines (and don’t have a well), it’s rare to find a home inspector who could perform an accurate septic tank inspection.

I’m moving, but my septic/well needs fixing. What do I do?

You’ve got two options. As we mentioned, fixing your septic system before listing your selling price increases your home’s value. 

The downside is that fixing or replacing a septic tank is expensive. For a 3- or 4-bedroom house, you’re looking at several thousand dollars to repair a septic tank and upwards of $15,000 to replace. In some instances, fixing your tank for the sake of higher listing price won’t save you money in the long run.

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Don’t want to deal with the hassle of fixing or repairing a septic system? Is it going to be too pricey and you’d rather just sell? There’s still hope! You can sell your home as-is in a time-limited event with RealtyHive. We conduct auctions that can expedite your home selling process, without getting tangled up in costly repairs. Sell your home with RealtyHive—reach out today!

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