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Brenda Mayette
Miranda Real Estate Group, Inc. - Glenville, NY
Getting results w/ knowledge & know-how!

Septic is all too common in my market.  Buyer pays for the inspection of the system here and yes... that typically includes pumping out waste that never belonged to the buyer....! ;)

Mar 27, 2017 09:46 AM
Susan Emo
Sotheby's International Realty Canada - Brokerage - Kingston, ON
Kingston and the 1000 Islands Area

I'm not in California but it is normally the Seller who pays for the pump out and inspection of same.

Mar 27, 2017 09:46 AM
Toronto, ON

I don't know how it works in California.  However, in Ontario, reference is made to the agreement of purchase and sale that is negotiated between the parties.

Mar 27, 2017 10:05 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


What Sam Shueh said.  All the best to you with this sale.  A

Mar 27, 2017 09:58 AM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

No requirements in CA.  My understanding is they should disclose last maintenance schedule. An experienced agent can spot and able to discriminate if there is damage on the leach fields.

During the inspection period the buyer should order a septic inspection rpt put on the purchase contract. (new-california-septic-tank-systems/)

Mar 27, 2017 09:52 AM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Happily Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

In MA, the seller pays for the Title 5 inspection and there's a report that needs to be at's required...there are exceptions.... 

Mar 27, 2017 09:45 AM
Lynnea Miller
Bend Premier Real Estate - Bend, OR
Premier Real Estate Service in Central Oregon

We have many septic systems in our area. And the seller is usually the person who pays for pumping and inspection. But this is a matter of negotiation in the deal.

Mar 27, 2017 12:12 PM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

You will need to ascertain the local practices.

Mar 27, 2017 10:41 AM
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker

In Texas typically the buyer would pay to have the septic inspected; however, everything is negotiable.

Mar 27, 2017 10:37 AM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Real Estate Broker Retired

Can't say in CA but here in IL, the seller has to prove everything is working correctly & passes health codes. County has to sign off or village. Water is sent out & tested.

Only in an REO might it happen here otherwise but that wouldn't even  let the bank off the hook. Don't forget a septic is now considered toxic substances.

Mar 27, 2017 10:35 AM
Sandy Padula & Norm Padula, JD, GRI
HomeSmart Realty West & Florida Realty Investments - , CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

It is typically different in each locale per custom.

Mar 27, 2017 10:16 AM
Eve Alexander
Buyers Broker of Florida - Tampa, FL
Exclusively Representing ONLY Tampa Home Buyers

Part of the buyers inspections.


Mar 27, 2017 10:15 AM
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Depends on the contract  in pa.

Mar 27, 2017 10:13 AM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, KW Diversified - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Every deal is different.

Mar 27, 2017 10:02 AM
Dave Martin (703) 585-4687
Fairfax Realty - Fairfax, VA
Making Realty Dreams a Reality #WeWillGetYouHome

We don't run into septic systems very much at all here in Northern Virginia

Mar 04, 2018 09:56 AM
Nathan Gesner
American West Realty and Management - Cody, WY
Broker / Property Manager

Buyers pay for the inspection. If the inspection recommends pumping, then we negotiate that but the Seller typically pays for it.

Mar 29, 2017 05:33 AM
Tony Lewis
Summit Real Estate Group - Valencia, CA
Summit Real Estate Group Valencia & Aliso Viejo

I have always asked the seller to pay for the Septic Cert and cleanout.  Representing the seller that might change if we could get the burden onto the buyer.

Mar 28, 2017 04:32 PM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
CEO of Vision Drive Realty - Coastal San Diego

I do a lot of septic inspection when selling in our East County. The seller typically pays, but it's the same as how they typically pay for termite, very negotiable and in a sellers market they tend to put both back on the buyer. You have to negotiate it.

Mar 28, 2017 06:27 AM
Harry F. D'Elia III
WEDO Real Estate and Beyond, LLC - Phoenix, AZ
Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR

buyer pays for the inpsection

Mar 28, 2017 05:51 AM
Jennifer Mackay
Counts Real Estate Group, Inc. - Panama City, FL
Your Bay County Florida Realtor 850.774.6582

In my area everything is negotiable

Mar 28, 2017 05:27 AM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

In Florida, the buyer pays for the inspection.  If repairs are needed it's negotiated.  And, the buyer gets to keep all the sh*t.

Mar 28, 2017 05:11 AM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Christine Kankowski - in MA, it is seller's responsibility of getting clear Title V.

Mar 27, 2017 10:54 PM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

Sorry, septic isn't a thing we commonly see in my part of CA.  I like Sam's answer though.  Buyer pays to inspect what buyer wants to inspect.

Mar 27, 2017 08:15 PM
Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807
HomeSmart - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

Christine - I had a transaction years ago that involved a septic system. To my recollection, the buyer had to pay for the inspection during the inspection period. If there were any repairs, it was negotiable. Not sure how it is done in CA.

Mar 27, 2017 07:50 PM
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

Septic tanks are part of the inspection process in TN and that is negotiated between the buyer and seller.

Mar 27, 2017 05:59 PM
John Slocum
Premiere Property Group, LLC - Vancouver Washington - Vancouver, WA
Broker, SFR - Vancouver WA Real Estate

County Regs (and State Forms) have the Seller taking care of this prior to closing.

Mar 27, 2017 04:49 PM
Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker


     Smart Sellers will have the system inspected, the tank pumped out before putting the house on the market.  Smart Buyers will make sure the system is inspected, and the tank is pumped out as a contingency or condition of Contract.   

    Finally, very important in Florida, there are many locales where you MUST hook up to sewer when your septic system fails (if sewer is available).   I know people who have been forced to pay $15K plus for connecting to City of Tallahassee utilities in Leon County, and $10K plus to connect to Talquin Cooperative in Wakulla County.

Mar 27, 2017 03:05 PM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

You have to get septic clearance and if you cannot, seller pays to clear it

Mar 27, 2017 02:37 PM
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

It is dictated in the Purchase Agreement.  Most times it is the seller paying for the test.

Mar 27, 2017 02:13 PM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Typically buer pays for inspection and seller for corrections, if neccessary. Likely a negotiated item or regulated by statute. Check your jurisdiction and boilerplate contract language.

Mar 27, 2017 01:51 PM
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

I am in CT, where we have all too many septics... Inspections often yield issues - buyer pays for inspection, but seller pays to correct problems. Septics should be pumped at seller's expense before closing (or within locally required timeframe, at least within two years) and if it happens to be a failed septic, seller may have to install a new one, which is costly.

Mar 27, 2017 01:29 PM
Kasey & John Boles
Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - - Boise, ID
Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties

As you can tell in all the different answers it varies by location - it could even vary by different parts of California.  Where we are it is entirely negotiatable, although as a buyers agent we usually recommend to ask the seller to pay for and schedule it but try to be able to have the buyer choose the company.  I've sold two personal properties with septics.  We, as the sellers, paid for and did both pumps/inspections on those properties. 

I'd talk to your broker.  -Kasey

Mar 27, 2017 01:02 PM
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

In our area the seller typically does the emptying of the septic tank and the tests for code issues and this is done at the cost to the seller.  If there is something that needs fixing, the seller gets to do that too.

Mar 27, 2017 12:56 PM
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

It should be on the buyer side like all inspections since the inspector has the fiduciary duty to them.

Mar 27, 2017 12:07 PM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

 It is usually the seller in Washington state before closing ....

Mar 27, 2017 12:01 PM
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents

Here in NH, the buyer pays for the septic inspection. If it needs to be pumped, the seller pays for it to be pumped prior to closing or make any repairs needed. 

Mar 27, 2017 11:49 AM
JoAnn Moore
The Mortgage Market of Delaware - Georgetown, DE
Home Loans in Delaware

In Delaware, the sellers normally get an inspection done and the tank pumped. 

Mar 27, 2017 11:46 AM
Jeff Pearl
RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA - Lovettsville, VA
Full Service Full Time Realtor

Sellers should maintain septic systems. When they are ready to sell, the buyer should have septic inspection. Tank should not be pumped out by seller until after inspection by buyer. We have different types of septic systems here in VA, so buyers need to make sure they hire someone experienced with all types of systems. We usually check lines to tank, tank, inlet and outlet T's, distribution box, and drain field. I also go to our health dept where they keep files on all septic systemss and septic repairs. Some alternative systems require annual maintenance contracts. Filters, pupms, pump chambers, mulch, modules, etc all need to be inspected.

Mar 27, 2017 11:28 AM
Julie Larson Realtor® Sarasota FL 941-284-9826
White Sands Realty Group FL | 941-284-9826 | Serving Sarasota, Manatee & Charlotte Counties - Sarasota, FL
When you're thinking of

In Florida, the buyer pays for the septic inspection and it's optional. Of course, I recommend to my buyers to definitely have the septic system inspected. In our area, it's only about $200 for the inspection and could save the buyer thousands of dollars!!!

Mar 27, 2017 11:16 AM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC

Here in NC & SC, the buyer pays for any and all Due Diligence, including septic inspections.

Mar 27, 2017 11:08 AM