Do You Need a Septic Inspection Before Selling Your House?

Written by Banks Editorial Team
3 min. read
Written by Banks Editorial Team
3 min. read

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Your home is equipped with a septic system, and you plan to sell it soon. Does this mean you’ll need to get a separate inspection, or can you move forward with the transaction? It depends on your state of residence. Read on to learn more about how home septic inspections work, so you’ll know what to expect in case it’s a requirement before selling your home in your respective state. 

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What Is a Septic Inspection?

A septic tank inspection helps ensure the septic tank in your home is in good condition and operating properly. Since septic systems are underground, it’s easy to overlook issues, like leaks that could become very problematic over time. 

What Happens During a Septic Inspection?

Here’s what to expect if you have your septic system inspected. 

Visual Inspection

It involves a brief interview followed by a visual inspection of: 

  • Your toilets (including a few flushes to ensure they’re running properly)
  • Water pressure (by running the faucets inside and outside your home) 
  • The drain field (to confirm standing water doesn’t exist)

Also, be prepared to share the age of your home, the date of the last professional inspection and how often the septic system is pumped. 

Full Inspection

A full inspection is more thorough than a visual inspection. The home inspector will: 

  • Assess the water level in the septic tank by removing the lid 
  • Turn on all the faucets inside the home to confirm the proper flow of water to the septic tank 
  • Visually inspect the drainage area to determine if there are issues with backflow that could be caused by leakages, blockages or some other issues

Other Things Inspectors Look for During a Septic Inspection

Beyond issues with the drain field, inspectors also pay attention to other factors during the septic inspection. 


Standing water indicates an issue with your septic system. Furthermore, it could be toxic to both animals and humans and should be avoided. 

Green Grass

Green grass is a dream for homeowners, but too much of it can be a bad thing for homeowners with septic systems, mainly if it’s more apparent in some areas of the yard than others. This could mean your system is pumping an excessive amount of water into the ground, which is good news for your landscaping but problematic for your system. 

Plumbing Back-ups

If you’re continuously dealing with drainage issues or plumbing back-ups in your home, it could also mean your septic system is faulty or in need of a repair. The issue could be minor, but it’s worth having an assessment done.  

Septic Tank Odors

Stinky septic tanks are never any fun and should not be taken lightly. However, an inspector will usually note any pungent odors they notice and communicate the issue to the seller to have the problem resolved. 

Sell Your House Fast

Skip the headaches and hassles of selling your home traditionally. No Showings, No Open Houses, No Stress. Get a free offer today!

How Much Does a Septic Inspection Cost?

It varies by the tank size and type of inspection you have done. You may also find that some companies offering septic inspections charge far more than others. But generally, you’ll spend no more than $600 to have a septic tank of up to 1,500 gallons inspected. 

Is a Septic Inspection Required Before Selling Your Home?

As mentioned above, it depends on your state of residence. Check with the Department of Environmental Protection in your state to learn more about requirements that may apply to you. They may also have a list of reputable septic inspectors handy you can use to ensure you comply with the guidelines. 

Sell Your House Faster

If the results of your septic inspection aren’t quite what you expected, you have two options: get the issues fixed before listing or sell the home as is and disclose the issues before listing. But maybe coming out of pocket to repair your septic system is too much of a hassle, or you worry buyers will pass your home because of the issues.

You’re not completely out of luck. Consider selling your home to Offerpad for cash. There’s no need to hire a realtor or spend a fortune preparing your home for the market.

Simply fill out the online questionnaire, submit a few photos or videos, and your cash offer will be on its way to you in just 24 hours. There are also some other attractive features of the Express Cash Offer you should be aware of: 

  • You’ll have the ability to select a closing day that works for you and is within 60 days of accepting your offer.
  • If you don’t like the idea of strangers browsing your home with your belongings intact, no worries, as you can skip showings that are often required when listing your home on the real estate market. 
  • Offerpad will cover the cost of a professional move if you’re relocating within 50 miles (restrictions apply). You’ll also get an additional three days following closing to move out of your current home at no cost to you.

But what if the Express Cash Offer doesn’t quite work for you? No worries. Offerpad also features a Flex option that lets you test out the market with no strings attached. In addition, you’ll get invaluable guidance from a licensed local real estate expert and several other perks, including: 

  • Complimentary services to prepare your home for listing, like deep cleaning, carpet cleaning, handyman services, pool services and landscape cleanup.
  • Advance funds (minus interest) to cover the cost of new flooring, paint, fixtures, countertops, appliances, staging, junk removal, garbage disposal and other upgrades and repairs that will make your home shine and garner the attention it deserves and attract the right home buyers.

You may also qualify for a backup cash offer that’s redeemable within 60 days if you change your mind. 

Don’t let a pesky septic tank issue stop you from selling your home. Instead, inquire online with Offerpad today to get more information on what they offer or explore your home-selling options


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