To learn more about real estate septic system inspection in Redmond, Washington, always check with local authorities and professionals for the most accurate and up-to-date information specific to the region and the King County area.
Regulations and requirements may vary, and local experts can provide tailored advice based on your property’s unique circumstances.
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What Is the Importance of Septic System Inspections in Real Estate Transactions
Septic system inspections are crucial in real estate transactions as in any other location. Here are some reasons why they are essential to perform before selling your property.
It Protects Property Value
Buyers are more likely to invest in a property with a well-maintained septic system, and sellers can use a clean inspection report as a selling point.
It Prevents Future Expenses
Identifying potential issues early on can save buyers and sellers from unexpected expenses. A thorough inspection can reveal problems that, if addressed, could lead to costly repairs or replacements in the future.
It Alleviates Health and Environmental Concerns
Malfunctioning septic systems can be a significant concern during real estate transactions. If issues are identified during the septic inspection, it may impact the sale of the property. Based on the findings, buyers may negotiate repairs or adjustments to the sale price.
On the other hand, sellers may need to address septic system issues before closing the deal to ensure compliance with health and environmental standards.
The health and eco concerns related to malfunctioning septic systems are integral to real estate transactions, as they directly impact the property’s habitability and compliance with regulations. A septic inspection is crucial in identifying and addressing these concerns during the buying or selling.
It Ensures You Meet Lending and Insurance Requirements
Lenders and insurance companies may require a septic system inspection as part of the home-buying process. This mitigates risks and ensures that the property complies with safety standards.
Lenders may mandate a septic system inspection to assess its condition. If the inspection reveals issues with the system, the lender may require repairs or replacements to approve the mortgage. This ensures the property’s value is maintained and the borrower is not burdened with unexpected repair costs shortly after the purchase.
Insurance companies are concerned with minimizing risks associated with property ownership. A faulty septic system can lead to environmental hazards, property damage, and health risks.
That’s why providers may require a septic system inspection to verify that it functions properly and poses no imminent dangers. If the inspection reveals potential problems, insurance companies may require the issues to be resolved before providing coverage or adjust the insurance terms accordingly.
King County Local Regulations and Requirements
Properties in King County that utilize septic systems must be inspected by a certified on-site system maintainer before the transfer of title.
Before selling a property in King County, Washington, you are typically required to perform a septic system inspection. The process ensures the proper functioning of on-site sewage systems and compliance with health and environmental standards.
The real estate agent, representing either the buyer or the seller, can facilitate the coordination of the septic system inspection. They may recommend licensed inspectors or work with professionals who specialize in septic system assessments.
Sellers are required to submit a time-of-sale on-site sewage system (OSS) inspection. The objective of the time-of-sale inspection is to furnish comprehensive and precise information to meet the seller’s disclosure obligations, ensuring the buyer is fully informed about the present condition of the OSS.
Upon the sale, the new owner assumes responsibility for ongoing maintenance and any required repairs.
When Should You Inspect the System?
Septic tanks should be inspected and pumped every six months or before a property sale. If you want to sell a King County property, make sure to first arrange a septic inspection with a certified company.
Can You Waive the Inspection?
The option to waive an inspection is sometimes available under certain conditions.
Such conditions may include:
- Performance monitoring report – if a licensed on-site system maintainer has conducted an Operation/Performance Monitoring Report within the last six months, and the reports for this on-site sewage system have been regularly submitted to Public Health – Seattle & King County.
- New construction – in the case of new construction where the property has never been occupied, proof of vacancy is required to waive the inspection.
- Initial inspection – for properties with a permitted on-site sewage system installed and the first inspection is not yet due, there is a grace period of 45 days for proprietary systems and six months for gravity and public domain technology systems.
- System is not in use – a waiver may also be applicable if the on-site sewage system has been abandoned due to the residence connecting to a public sewer or the land being converted to public use.
What to Do If Inspection Is Completed?
Completion of the inspection is a prerequisite before the transfer of property ownership.
Additionally, before closing, the buyer must obtain a copy of the comprehensive Time of Sale Inspection Report, including any comments or attachments from Public Health, issued within ten business days of submitting the application.
The Owner or Seller’s Agent (OSM) is responsible for submitting the Time of Sale Inspection Report through SkipThePaper.com within 30 days following the inspection.
What Happens If the Report Is Incomplete or Inaccurate?
If the report submitted on SkipThePaper.com is found to be incomplete or inaccurate, its status will be updated to “On Hold.”
Public Health personnel will then determine the specific item that requires correction through communication channels such as phone, email, or by providing comments on the report.
Subsequently, the designated OSM (Online Submission Manager) will receive an email notification indicating that the report has been placed on hold. The OSM is tasked with promptly rectifying the report or providing a response to clarify any circumstances within ten business days.
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What Components Are Typically Inspected?
These inspections typically involve examining the tank, drain field, and other components to ensure proper functioning and compliance with applicable standards.
The septic service company will assess the on-site system’s performance, overall health, and potential issues.
Fresh N Clean Septic does this by conducting visual inspections, water testing, and utilizing advanced diagnostic tools. This comprehensive approach allows us to identify signs of deterioration, blockages, leaks, and other critical factors affecting the system’s functionality.
Typically, a real estate septic service inspection spans 45 minutes to a few hours.
The inspector scrutinizes various aspects, including:
- The records of previous inspections and septic tank maintenance
- Sludge and scum levels within the tank
- Distribution box (if present)
- Drain lines
- Pipes and connections
- Ventilation system
- Soil condition
- Inlet and outlet baffles
- The drain field’s location and signs of its efficiency, as well as the tank and its lids
- Water usage.
Potential Issues and Red Flags to Know About
You need to be prepared that a septic issue is found during the inspection.
Common problems in the reports include:
- Foul smells around the septic tank or drain field
- Standing water or overly lush and green vegetation in the drain field area
- Any signs of sewage backup in toilets, sinks, or drains
- Slow drains
- Gurgling, bubbling, or percolating noises from drain
- Greener grass over the tank
- Cracks, settling, or other visible damage
- Age of the system
- Inadequate tank size
- Root intrusion
- Poorly located components
- Lack of maintenance records
What Are the Responsibilities of the Buyer and Seller?
The responsibilities of the buyer and seller during a septic system inspection for real estate purposes can vary depending on local regulations and the terms negotiated in the transaction. However, here are the typicaly shared responsibilities for all parties.
Real Estate Companies and Agents
Agents play a role in coordinating septic tank inspections. They may recommend qualified inspectors or work with professionals chosen by the buyer or seller.
Some of their responsibilities include:
- Reviews – agents should review septic inspection reports with their clients and help them understand the findings. This may involve explaining any issues identified, the significance of those issues, and potential implications for the sale.
- Regulations – real estate agents should know local regulations and ensure that the septic system inspection and any necessary repairs comply with King County’s requirements.
- Documentation – agents may assist in gathering and providing necessary documentation related to the septic system, such as maintenance records, permits, and inspection files.
Upon the transfer of property ownership, the buyer is obligated to remit the necessary Operation and Maintenance Program fee to Public Health. Online payment can be facilitated through Public Health’s portal.
Subsequently, the buyer will be furnished with guidance on best practices for upkeep of septic systems.
Important note: The buyer should request records of past septic system inspections, maintenance, and any repairs or pumping from the seller. These records provide insights into the system’s history and can help identify potential issues.
The main seller’s responsibilities include providing access to the septic system and addressing identified issues during the inspection.
The first step is for the seller to grant the septic inspector access to the OSSF to evaluate it thoroughly. This may involve locating and uncovering access points to the septic tank and drain field.
If the inspection reveals any problems with the septic system, the seller may be responsible for addressing those issues. This could involve repairing or replacing system components to bring them into compliance with local regulations and ensure their proper functioning.
Other responsibilities include:
- Hiring a maintainer to complete the septic system inspection.
- Providing the buyer with a copy of the Inspector Report before closing the deal.
- Reviewing, completing and submitting Coversheet and On-site Sewage System Notice on Title Requirements to King County. A “Seller Notice of On-site System Maintenance Requirements” has a specific purpose in real estate transactions involving properties with on-site sewage systems (septic systems). This notice typically outlines information about the maintenance requirements and history of the septic system.
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Should You Work with Certified Septic System Inspectors?
Hire a licensed septic system inspector. In Washington, inspectors typically need to be certified by the state. You can find a list of certified professionals through the Washington State Department of Health.
Contact local septic system contractors or inspection services in the Redmond area. They should be familiar with local regulations and can provide information about the inspection process.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Can I Ensure a Reliable Septic System Inspection in Redmond, WA?
Hire a licensed septic system inspector certified by the state. Contact local septic system contractors or inspection services familiar with Redmond’s regulations for accurate information and guidance.
Why Is a Septic System Inspection Crucial in Real Estate Transactions?
A thorough inspection protects property value and prevents future expenses, addressing health and environmental concerns and meeting lending and insurance requirements.
What Happens If Issues Are Found During the Inspection?
Depending on the severity, negotiations may occur between buyer and seller to address concerns. Sellers may need to perform repairs or adjust the sale terms.