Can I Sell My House With a Failed Septic System? 

 January 26, 2021

By  Lora Keller

Need An Appraisal For A Property In Southwest Florida? Call (941) 743-3700

Selling a home that is in need of repairs is not the easiest thing to do, especially on your own. Not to mention if your home is in need of major repairs. Often, we see homeowners that are unsure of how to move forward with selling their home when the house is in need of one or more major repairs. 

One of the biggest questions we see is “Can I sell my house with a failed septic system?” A septic system is a major home repair. Depending on the severity of the problem a failed septic system can lead to further issues as well as further repairs. 

How to Sell Your Home With a Failed Septic System

Picture of septic tank waste trucks in Florida

It is not ideal but selling your home with a failed septic system is absolutley possible. There are actually several different ways in which you can sell your home with a major issue like this. 

Do the Repairs

The first option is to have the repairs done. You can look at getting a loan to help with the cost of repairs. Getting these done before selling the home is the best option to provide you with the best possible offer for the home.

Decreasing the Price

Another option is to just decrease the price. For a failed septic system you should look at having a professional come in to give you an estimate for what the repair will cost. 

Then you can knock that amount off of the listing price. A home buyer will most likely want a good amount of padding to ensure that the cost of repairs won’t exceed the value of the home. 

For example, if you have been quoted that a repair will cost around 5,000 dollars to complete, the buyer might want to reduce the price of the home by 10,000 as security for themselves. 

This is just in case the estimated cost amount is too low and the cost of repairs ends up exceeding the 5,000 that was originally quoted. 

For larger repairs this is very common. However, there is another way to proceed that seems to benefit both the buyer and seller more fairly. 

Withholding Price

When selling a home needing a repair or multiple repairs you can simply withhold the price. This will involve the title company. 

The best way to explain this is that the seller will put the house on the market at current market value. Then once a buyer makes an offer and the seller accepts that offer the money to pay for the home will be sent to the title company.

Then any repairs needing done will be completed and the money to pay for the repairs will be taken from the title company. 

So for example if you are trying to sell your home with a failed septic system, the buyer will pay the standard price for the home (as if there were no issues with the septic system). For our example we will say the home costs $250,000. 

Then the title company will hold the funds until the repairs have been completed. Let’s say the repairs were estimated at $5,000 (like the example from before). After all the repairs were completed the cost ended up being $6,000. 

That $6,000 will be deducted from the $250,000 that the title company is holding, so the amount the seller ends up receiving is $244,000. 

This tends to be the best option for the seller in order to minimize any loss. The buyer doesn’t end up having additional costs they need to pay out of pocket for complications with the repairs and the seller doesn’t lose money on the sale (other than the cost of the repairs). 

What is ARV?

Sell to a Cash Buyer

The final option is to not worry about selling your home to a regular home buyer at all. You can look at selling your home to a cash buyer who wants to invest in the property. 

There are both pros and cons to selling your home to a cash buyer. 

Really the only disadvantage is that any investor needs to factor in the cost of repairs and what it will take to resell the home or get the home up to code to rent it out, etc.

For that reason you won’t get market value for the home simply because the investor needs to make a profit on their investment. 

However, the advantages are that you will be able to sell your home quickly (sometimes in as little as a few days). 

You also don’t need to fix up the home or worry about getting the home ready to sell, staging, open houses, and other time consuming tasks associated with selling your home. And finally you’re getting cash for your home. 

Lora Keller Family

How We Can Help

Now that you know the different ways you can sell your home with a failed septic system you need to figure out which is going to be the best choice for you. This all depends on what financial situation you are in as well as how quickly you will need to sell your home. 

But we can help. We don’t just do home appraisals. We are connected with both an incredibly talented real estate agent with over 20 years of real estate experience here in Southwest Florida and home investors who are willing to buy your home as is and for cash. 

So if you want a completely unbiased opinion on how you should move forward with the sale of your home, give us a call today at (941) 743-3700

We will provide you with a completely free strategy call and help connect you with the agent or investor who can help you sell your home. Failed septic system or not. 

Lora Keller


Lora Keller 

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