Selling your house can be expensive. After all, you want your property to be as attractive to potential buyers as possible. However, there is a thin line between spending too much money on unnecessary repairs and improvements and not enough, which may lead to your house sitting on the market or selling for a lower price. Time and money are often of the essence when it comes to selling a home. Chances are you are probably in the process of purchasing a new house yourself and need funds for furnishing, updating, and closing on your new property, and you will have to make some tough calls on what to repair and what to ignore.


Whether you are aware of the issue before listing your house or are discovering it at the last minute during a home inspection, a failed septic tank will put a damper into any transaction. It is an expensive fix that you would rather avoid. But can you sell your home when the septic system’s condition leaves to be desired?



septic tank


Yes and no.


In some states, a septic tank in working condition is required to complete the sale, so check whether or not you are legally allowed to sell your home with a failed septic tank. If the state you live in has no regulations regarding the condition of your septic system, you can go ahead and put your property on the market, but you will still need to disclose the fact that your septic tank is not working. In addition, there will still be a couple of things to take into consideration.


First of all, the pool of buyers your house will appeal to will be considerably smaller. Most homebuyers will not be interested in purchasing a property that will require extensive repairs before being livable. A failed septic tank is an entirely different ball game than a tired carpet or a dated kitchen, both in terms of budget and on “make do” possibilities. Besides, even if you are legally allowed to sell the house with a failed septic system, lenders will not, in most cases, finance a property that does not have an adequate septic tank. The only options for a buyer would be to either pay cash or use financing options such as a 203K government-backed loan, which are typically time-consuming and complicated. The buyers that are most likely to be interested in a property with a failed septic tanks are investors. However, since the number of potential buyers is significantly reduced, your property is likely to sit on the market for a significant period.


Second, you will need to price your house low enough to appeal to potential buyers like investors, or adventurous homeowners that will still need to put a significant amount of money in the house before moving in to make it in livable condition.


If you are considering selling your home with a failed septic tank, a couple of strategies could help with the situation. It is a good idea to provide potential buyers with a survey showing that the septic can be repaired up to current standards, especially if the property is older and local regulations may have changed. Another smart move would be to provide several quotes from local companies to show how much a potential buyer would have to budget to make adequate repairs. Although these steps may require an investment on your part, it will likely be significantly lower than what repairing the septic tank would cost.