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Why a Septic Inspection Matters

Agnes Zak

Agnes Zak is an award-winning Realtor with Premier Sotheby's International Realty who is passionate about helping her clients accomplish their goals a...

Agnes Zak is an award-winning Realtor with Premier Sotheby's International Realty who is passionate about helping her clients accomplish their goals a...

Feb 8 4 minutes read

Home inspections are like a yearly physical. You hope everything is fine, but you also wonder if it’s really worth the time it takes. 

Your annual check-up isn’t just for the peace of mind that a clean bill of health provides. You also have the chance to catch a small issue before it becomes a big problem. In the worst case scenario, when your doctor finds something major, you find out what your options may be. Either way, yearly physicals, like a home inspection, give you information so you can make better decisions. 

Home Inspections with Septic Tanks

While some buyers need convincing that a home inspection is worth the cost, most understand that buying a new home without one can lead to disaster. A basic, typical home inspection is almost a no-brainer. If, however, the home you want to buy has a septic tank which can and should have it’s own inspection, that’s a harder sell.

The additional cost for a septic inspection is between $400 and $600 here in the Naples market. That’s a lot of money to be told that the septic system is fine. The reason to get the inspection, though, is in case there’s a problem with the drain field which can cost thousands of dollars to repair or rebuild. The few hundred dollars you spend can be a drop in the bucket if there’s a real problem.

Buyer Case Study

Recently, I worked with a buyer who faced this exact scenario. The buyer understood the need for a basic home inspection but wasn’t sure the septic inspection would be worth the extra cost. We discussed it, and I explained what could happen if there was a problem that was discovered after closing. Problems discovered before you buy a home can be dealt with, or you may be able to walk away. Find it after you buy, and you’re responsible for the full cost.

Reluctantly, my buyer agreed to the septic tank inspection. Upon inspection, the worst-case scenario was the reality. The drain field had collapsed, and the cost to rebuild it would be nearly $10,000. Both the seller and the buyer were devastated. 

The buyer really wanted the home but didn’t want to pay the full cost to rebuild the drain field. The seller, on the other hand, would have to disclose the problem from now on until it was repaired or the home sold. You can imagine how difficult it would be for a seller to find a buyer with a $10,000 problem looming over their head.

Thankfully, we were able to renegotiate the contract. The septic tank drain field was fixed, and the home was sold. Both the buyer and seller were happy with the outcome. The sale was made, and the buyer didn’t have a nasty and expensive surprise after they moved in.

Extra inspections only seem like a waste of money after you find out everything is fine. In reality, home inspections, including septic inspections, offer peace of mind. You can either head to the closing table knowing no nasty surprises wait for you. You also find out early what underlying problems exist and fix them or find another home. Either way, inspections are worth the money you pay for them in saved time and money. Buyers also have more negotiation power to get the home you want for the best price.

Are you ready to buy a new home and looking for someone who will help you find the right one at the right price? Contact us today and let’s talk!

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