Selling a Home with a Well or Septic System

Does a well supply water to your home? Does a septic system handle sewage disposal? In either case, before you sell, you’ll need to comply with Washtenaw County rules.

The County Environmental Health Division enforces the rules. You’re good to go if the County has certified your well and septic system within the last 12 months. Otherwise, you’ll need to hire a private inspector. The County has a list of approved inspectors.

The inspector you hire will file a report with the County. The report will include:

  • a description of your well and septic system
  • how everything is working, and
  • recommendations

Based on the report, the County will either authorize a transfer of your home or require corrections.

Fortunately, If you need to make corrections, you won’t need to bring your well or septic system, up to current standards. But, if they’re failing – or way out of conformance – you’ll have to fix them. You may be able to transfer your home even before you complete the corrections. To make that happen, you’ll need to:

  • submit a plan for corrective action
  • have a contract in place to complete the work
  • put into escrow 1.5 times cost of repairs, and
  • pay a fee to the County.

Some transfers are exempt from these rules. For example, you won’t need an inspection if you’re creating or ending a joint ownership. The same is true if your home was built less than 24 months before the transfer.

For a smooth sale of your home, have the inspection made at least two weeks before your scheduled closing. Even better, you might start the process before you list your home for sale.

The attorneys at the Ann Arbor law firm of Hamilton, London, & Davis can assist you at all stages of your home sale.

Categories: Real Estate Law