When you wake each day for your morning constitutional, where does the pooh go after you flush? For more than 2,600,000 Floridians it goes into an onsite waste disposal or “septic tank”. In fact over 30% of Floridians live in a home with a septic tank.
In Jacksonville there are 85,000 septic tanks! According to JEA there are 21 neighborhoods around Jacksonville that have been deemed “Septic Failure Areas”. The expected cost to abandon those 21,000 tanks and connect to the JEA sewage system is $300,000,000.
When municipal sewer service is available to a home on a septic tank it is generally mandatory that the homeowner connect to that sewer service, unless a waiver is granted. Most of those waivers allow a properly functioning septic tank to remain in service until the septic system fails or ownership of the property is transferred. This is getting close to hitting home for real estate agents.
When the information entered into the MLS correctly states weather the home is presently being served by “septic” or “sewer”, much of the risk to the agent is eliminated.
One of your risks comes when the MLS is correct that the home is on septic, though does not disclose that sewer is available. In this situation, connection would be required upon transfer of the property. If not disclosed prior to closing a very unhappy homeowner is seeking someone to pay for the connection. Often they look toward the real estate agent.
In another common situation, the wrong input to the MLS says “sewer”. It is later discovered to be “septic”, but NO sewer connection is available. This makes for an ugly situation. A situation where the homebuyer claims “they never would have bought this home if they knew”. Now they want you to buy back the home.
Your number one goal is to ensure that the input to the MLS is correct. At Residential Inspector of America we have developed a proprietary protocol to ensure that the “septic or sewer” MLS data is correct. Most home inspection companies run from responsibility and disclaim this responsibility. Not RIA!
To research for yourself if a home is on septic or sewer visit www.SewerStatus.com.
These are but a few of the risks that can arise when you list or sell homes that a have septic systems. And there are many more. Want to know what they are so you avoid them?
To truly reduce your risk it to would be wise to be educated on the rest of the risks to you from septic systems AND how to transfer them to your home inspector. I’m happy to bring a short presentation to your next office meeting, call (904) 590-1306 to schedule or contact me via this form.