There is a lot of negative imagery attached to septic systems, particularly in the minds of buyers who have never interacted with one. As such, it will take some extra work to convince such people that septic tanks are no more troublesome than any other major home system.
Educate Potential Buyers about Septic Systems
People are less afraid of things when they understand them. Septic systems are seen as backwards technology used only in remote countrysides. In fact, septic system technology is always advancing, and they are used in rural areas (among other places) solely because municipal sewer systems do not extend that far.
Educating buyers about the process can also allay fears. Some have been left with the impression household sewage ends up in their backyard which is, of course, false. Help them understand how the filtering system actually works.
Stress Ease of Maintenance
Emphasize how little the septic system impedes life, but also stress the importance of maintenance. A properly maintained septic tank can last 30 years, which may well be longer than the buyers plan to live in the home. Pumping is a requirement, but it is done by a professional, costs a few hundred dollars, and only has to be done every few years, depending on the tank size.
Buyers do need to understand the pitfalls of not maintaining their septic system. Clogged components and bacterial imbalances can make a real mess, but these problems are largely avoidable with proper maintenance and avoiding things like flushing large quantities of chemicals into the system.
Keep Maintenance Up to Date
Keep maintenance up to date, and keep a running log of it which you can present to buyers. Have the tank pumped so it is working at peak efficiency, even if you are using a bacterial additive. Such additives can be useful in a septic tank, helping to better break down organic matter, but they do not replace pumping.
Also, have the leech field inspected. The tank is only half of the system. The leech field has an important part to play as well, and if something is going wrong, things could get unsavory. Make sure everything is working at optimum levels.
Honor a Request for a Professional Inspection
A buyer may insist on a professional inspector to come out to test the system, and sellers should welcome them in. After all, if everything is working as it should, there will be nothing negative for the inspector to find.
A proactive seller might even have the inspection performed when the home goes on the market. It will cost a few hundred dollars, but it is one more piece of documentation which can be offered upfront to buyers.
The presence of a septic system can be a disadvantage to a seller because of common misconceptions. The best way to counteract these negatives is through education and good maintenance. By proving the system is in good working order and it is not difficult to maintain that order, a seller is much more likely to win over a buyer who is otherwise in love with the home.
Debbie Drummond is a Full Time Realtor with over ten years experience in the Las Vegas Real Estate Market. She and her team of Real Estate Pros offer the highest level of service. If you’re buying or selling a Las Vegas home, call (702)354-6900 or email Debbie@LVHomePro.com. They’ll be happy to assist you in your move.