Can I Sell My House with a Failed Septic System?

Share on

Selling house with a failed septic system

Are you looking to sell a property that has a failed septic system? Septic systems fail because of the following:

  • inadequate design
  • lack of maintenance
  • joint issues such as ground shifting, pipe damage, and periodic upkeep

The failed septic system might concern prospective buyers. You should develop a plan to address these concerns. Be transparent about the issue to instill confidence in potential buyers.

While a failed septic system may pose a challenge, it does not have to sink your home sale. Keep reading to learn more about selling your house with a failed septic system and the answer to the question, “how can I sell my house with a failed septic system?”

House With a Failed Septic System: Can I Sell?

A failed septic system can be challenging and gross with wastewater. But it’s not impossible to sell. 

Check the Failed Septic System

Before anything else, it’s crucial to test the failed septic system. Determine the cause of the failure and whether it’s repairable or needs replacement. Seek advice from a licensed septic installation professional to understand the extent of the problem.

Repair or Replacement Cost

It would help to consider the costs of repairing or replacing the septic system. The price can vary depending on the system’s size, the extent of the damage, and local regulations. 

Permits and Regulations

It would help if you got the necessary permits from the local government authority. Then start any repairs or installations for the new septic system in accordance with local laws. The processes and regulations for obtaining permits can vary based on the location. 

Disclose the Issue

Being transparent with potential buyers on the failed septic system is vital. Disclose the issue, repairs made, the extent of the damage, and any legal requirements. In some states, the law requires disclosing septic system problems to potential buyers.

Property Value

The failed septic system can impact the property’s value. You’ll need to determine the property’s market value. The property value should reflect the cost of repairs and conditions. That includes the septic system.

Marketing Your Property

Effective marketing is essential to selling the property despite the septic system issue. Highlight the property’s best features and the potential it holds. Ensure to address potential buyers’ concerns about the septic system. If you choose to work with a real estate agent, ensure you know the average cost and estimated cost of closing costs and commissions.

Can You Sell Your House With a Failed Septic System

If you plan to sell your house with a septic tank problem, you must know what to expect. A failed septic tank can lead to many challenges in the selling process. Increase the likelihood of a successful sale with the correct information and strategies.

Potential Scenarios

Selling a house with a septic tank problem can result in various scenarios. In some cases, you can fix the problem before selling the home. Disclose the septic tank issue to potential buyers. Negotiate a deal that considers the cost of repairs.

If you’re unable or unwilling to repair the septic tank, you may consider selling the house “as-is.”

Fixing the septic tank

Fixing the Septic Tank

Before selling your property, fixing the septic tank issues is advisable. You can repair or replace the septic system, depending on the extent of the damage.

Standard septic tank problems include:

  • ground movement
  • tree root damage
  • lack of maintenance
  • broken dip pipes

You can hire a septic tank professional to assess the system and recommend the best solution.

Impact on Property Value

A failed septic tank can affect the property value. It can make your house less attractive to buyers and complicate the selling process.

You should have the septic tank inspected and repaired if necessary. This improves the house’s value and mitigates buyers’ concerns about the property’s condition.

Negotiating a Deal

When selling a house with a septic tank problem, you should be transparent and honest about the issue. Consider lowering the sale price to account for the cost of repairs or replacement. Or, you can offer to split the repair costs with the buyer.

Legal Responsibilities

In most states, sellers must disclose septic system issues to the buyer.

How to Sell a House with a Failed Septic System

You may wonder about your options if you’re a homeowner trying to sell a house with a failed septic system. Septic issues can be a significant roadblock for home sales, but they don’t have to be a deal breaker.

Possible Reasons for Septic System Failure and Solutions

Several reasons cause a septic system may fail:

  • excess water in the septic tank
  • tree root infiltration
  • damaged drain field
  • faulty leach field

The first step is to understand the source of the problem to determine the best solution. Resolving septic malfunctions is expensive, so homeowners should seek professional help. 

Disclosing Septic System Issues to Potential Buyers

When selling a home with a failing septic system, transparency is critical. Disclose the condition of the septic system to save time, money, and legal troubles down the road.

Buyers appreciate honesty and will respect the seller who shares this information. Sellers should disclose the septic system’s condition in writing. 

Recommended Approaches to Selling a House with a Failed Septic System

Selling a house with a failed septic system comes with several options.

One option is to fix the septic system before listing the property. This approach may enhance the home’s value and appeal to buyers. Another option is to adjust the asking price.

Alternatives to Selling a House with a Failed Septic System

Homeowners can consider alternative solutions. One solution is to offer seller financing or seller concessions to the buyer. 

Another alternative is to sell the property “as-is.” This approach may reduce the selling price. In writing, you should disclose the septic system’s condition to avoid legal issues.

Fixing septic system before selling

Should You Fix the Septic System Before Selling

Septic tanks need regular maintenance and care to ensure that they function.

Some common septic tank issues include clogged pipes, root infiltration, or sewage leaks. You need to contact a professional service provider for a septic system inspection.

Should You Discount Your House Price Before Selling

The system may have failed if you’re experiencing problems such as:

  • sewage backups
  • gurgling
  • wet spots in your yard
  • foul odors
  • slow flushing toilets

A failed septic system leads to:

  • groundwater contamination
  • sewage solids in your yard
  • nasty backups into your home

A bad septic system decreases the value of your property and makes it harder to sell. Local regulations, the health department, and market demand impact your ability to sell your house. Those forces make it even more challenging to find potential buyers.

The repair cost can vary depending on several factors. It’s worth investing in to maintain your property’s livability and value.

Can You Sell a House With a Failed Septic System As Is

Yes. You can sell a house with a failed septic system as is. Selling the home in its current condition without repairs may be your best option. 

Common Reasons Why Septic Systems Fail

Septic systems malfunction due to inappropriate design or poor maintenance. That leads to the following:

  • groundwater contamination
  • standing water in the yard
  • destroyed landscaping
  • sewage backups into the home

Options available

If the homeowner is not selling the house as is, they may engage in septic system repairs. A working septic system improves the home’s value.

Pricing the Home 

Pricing a home with a failed septic system is a hassle. A professional appraiser determines the property’s fair market value. Additionally, selling the house below market value may be an option to attract buyers.

Strategies for Attracting Buyers Despite the Failed System

Marketing the property is key to attracting buyers even when your septic system fails. Homeowners should highlight the property’s value, such as:

  • its location
  • size of the house
  • any extra features

Provide a full report detailing the condition of the system and any repairs. Replacements assure potential buyers that they are making an informed decision.


Selling a house with a failed septic system can be a daunting task, especially in rural areas. You should be upfront and disclose the failed system to potential buyers. Buyers with their home inspectors will find out and lenders may be reluctant to approve a loan for a home with a bad system.

The best solution might be an online home-buying company. Cash buyers offer a unique approach to buying homes. The process is beneficial for home sellers dealing with septic system malfunctions.

Here’s why:

Cash buyers move quickly. They make cash offers on your home within days and without home inspections. The speed means you avoid lengthy wait times of a traditional real estate transaction. You also avoid expensive realtor commissions.

Along with speed, cash buyers also offer simplicity. You sell your house as-is with no need for inspections or major repairs. The simple process significantly benefits homeowners dealing with a failed septic system. You do not want to spend extra money on repairs or upgrades.

But the benefits of selling to a cash buyer go beyond speed and simplicity. Real estate investors also offer flexible closing dates and an uncomplicated closing process. Flexibility helps homeowners who need to sell their homes but may need more time to be ready to move.

If you’re worried about the process of selling to a cash buyer, don’t be. You can trust them to handle the sale with integrity and provide you with a fair cash offer.

Additional Resources:

Get an all cash offer on your home