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Selling a House With a Failed Septic System in Texas: What You Should Know

Septic systems are common throughout Texas due to the explosion of residential construction. Though they have major upfront costs and require specialized installation, they can be an efficient and useful wastewater management tool. However, a failed septic system can spell major trouble, especially for those seeking to sell their home. 

You may believe that it’s impossible to sell a house with a failed septic system, but it’s not — you can sell your home as-is to A-List Properties. When you sell to us, you’re under no obligation whatsoever to perform any septic system repair, saving you thousands of dollars in repair costs. 

What Is a Septic System?

A functioning septic system is a key element of a safe home, and potential buyers want to know that you’ve had a septic inspection before they buy your property.

The Environmental Protection Agency explains that a septic system manages household wastewater for properties not connected to a public sewer network. It ensures proper waste removal and prevents harmful bacteria from entering the household water system. Not every home has a septic system, and they are more common in rural areas.

A septic system consists of a septic tank and a drain field. Septic tanks are sealed, watertight containers buried underground. They are connected to a drain field or leach field, a system of plumbing lines under the outdoor landscaping that drains standing water into the soil. 

You need to perform routine maintenance on the entire system, including draining the septic tank at least once every three years. This will remove solids and liquids that may be preventing proper discharge. 

septic system worker

Most Common Causes of Septic System Failure

Septic system issues are common, even when you perform regular necessary repairs and have it drained on schedule. Common reasons include:

  • Inadequate maintenance – Your entire septic system should be pumped and inspected every three to five years. 
  • Clogs and blockages – For a working system, you must never pour grease, oil, or similar materials down the drain. This will lead to clogs that lead to major issues.
  • Biomaterials – One of the other common reasons for a failed septic system is excessive biomaterials, aka bacteria and other materials in the soil. Bacterial overgrowth can lead to issues.
  • Using too much water – A functional septic system can only handle so much waste material at a time. If you’re pouring too much water into the sewer line, such as installing a new water-using appliance without adding new plumbing lines, you’ll run into trouble.
  • Poor design – A significant drawback of a septic system is that it needs to be placed on a flat rise with the right kind of soil. If it is not installed correctly and in the proper location, you may have to fix the failed system.
  • Cracked septic tank – A failed septic tank allows water to pour directly into the soil, necessitating costly septic system repairs and replacements.
  • Driving over drain fields – This compacts the soil and can lead to a failing septic system.

Installing a new septic system has an estimated cost of $10,000, while performing major repairs on a failed septic tank may cost up to $3,000. That’s why it’s critical to get a septic system inspection every once in a while and perform regular maintenance.

Signs of a Septic System Failure

There are a variety of signs of a bad septic system, and you will almost certainly notice. Some of the common issues include:

  • Slow draining bathtubs
  • Slow flushing toilets
  • Sewage backup into the home
  • Bad odors around the septic system
  • Standing water or damp spots in the field
  • Chugging or gurgling noises in the pipes
  • Bright green grass around the tank

If you notice any of these issues, it’s crucial to get in touch with a septic repair company and perform a complete inspection. 

Texas Septic Systems Laws

Local laws require that anyone who performs maintenance on a septic system undergo a six-hour course Basic Wastewater Operations course, whether that is a homeowner or landlord. Those maintaining a septic system for a rental property need to have it done by a qualified professional. Local laws prohibit a homeowner from altering their septic system without approval, and it may lead to serious fines. 

septic system laws

Any house with a septic system should be inspected by certified home inspectors, and you should share the home inspection with potential buyers, because if there is an issue and you sell the home without disclosing it, you face legal problems.

If you’re trying to sell a house with a failed septic system, you must disclose the failed inspection to prospective buyers and explain what the steps are to fix the issue. 

Before trying to sell your home with a failed septic system, be sure to check the local law around disclosures — ignorance of the law is no excuse! 

Can I Sell My House With a Failed Septic System?

Yes, you can sell a house with a failed septic system, though it will be an uphill battle. Most residential buyers are working with mortgage companies, and the buyer’s lender may not be willing to extend a mortgage. 

You’ll also have to accept well below the asking price in order to compensate the buyer for the hassle of fixing the septic issues.

However, there are still other options for finding a prospective buyer, including working with real estate investors and accepting a fair cash offer from companies like A-List Properties.

Sell Your House to a Real Estate Investor

While uncommon, it is possible to sell a property with a failed septic system to an investor, who will buy houses in order to flip them or turn them into rentals. You can find these investors by working with a real estate agent who will have a network of contacts in the real estate investing world. 

Investors are great at negotiation, and they will haggle you into a lower sale price than you would get elsewhere. In addition to a low sales price, you’ll also have to pay closing costs as you would with a traditional sale.

Sell Your House “As-Is” to a Cash House Buyer

A cash buyer is your best bet. Fixing a septic system is incredibly expensive and often takes a long time, but you don’t need to perform these repairs if you work with a cash-for-house company like A-List Properties.

We pay cash for homes in any condition, including those with septic issues, and manage all the repairs after the sale. We promise a competitive offer and a fast turnaround time — all without real estate agent commissions or closing costs to contend with.If you need to sell a home with a failed septic system, call us at (972) 526-7042 or contact us. A-List Properties has helped thousands of Texans sell their unwanted properties for a fair price and a quick close. We look forward to helping you get the price you deserve for your home!

Sell My House Fast Texas | We Buy Houses Texas

Zach Shelley

Zach Shelley is a seasoned real estate investor with a diverse network spanning across the nation. As the founder of his own real estate venture, Zach is committed to offering innovative solutions to homeowners facing various real estate challenges.. Through his dedication and strategic approach, Zach continues to make a significant impact in the real estate industry, providing homeowners with alternative pathways to navigate their property transactions.

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