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What Anoka County Homesellers NEED to Know about Septic Systems

Real Estate Agent with Boardman Realty Minnesota License#90858

Are you planning to sell your Anoka County acreage home this spring? If you live on acreage and are not in a community with city sewer, you have a private sewer system to get rid of sewage. Homeowners with septic systems are required to complete an additional disclosure about the condition and use of the system. Some Anoka County communities require a compliance test for private sewer systems. If you do not understand these requirements, be certain the REALTOR® you choose, does.

Surprisingly, not all Minnesota real estate agents are familiar with septic systems and consequently not able to educate their sellers on how to properly complete the disclosures that are required to sell a home with a private sewer.  A lack of this knowledge can be costly to a seller and create time consuming delays in the sales process. I have lived in a community where private wells and sewers are the norm. This allowed me the opportunity to work with acreage homes on a daily basis.  I put my private well and septic knowledge to good use when assisting Anoka County sellers and buyers which can reduce headaches and surprises down the road in the sales process.

Not all communities in Anoka County have point of sale inspection requirements. For example, Columbus requires a compliance test on all septic systems prior to sale while Ham Lake does not. East Bethel only requires lake shore homes to have point of sale compliance tests. Some communities allow any licensed inspector to do the test while other cities require their own inspectors to perform the inspection. This means homeowners (or their agent) must contact city hall to find out what the specific rules are regarding compliance testing on the septic.

Even if a property is located in a community without a point of sale requirement, it can be advantageous for a seller to consider having the test done prior to listing. Why? Because most buyers will make offers contingent on the inspection of the septic system.  If a seller has pre-inspected the system to ascertain it is in compliance, this information can be provided to potential buyers thus avoiding an additional contingency being attached to the offer.

In the event the system is found to be non-compliant, it might be best to update the system prior to the closing. If non-compliance is determined prior to listing, the seller might be able to list a bit higher due to the brand new septic system. If the homeowner waits until the buyer requests the test, the buyer will have agreed to the price. Most buyers do not want to pay more than they agreed to pay, even if the seller must pay thousands for a new septic. The buyers expected that the system was in good working order when they placed their offer and see no additional benefit this late in the negotiations. But if a seller pre-inspects and it is determined an upgrade is required, the home can often be marketed at a higher price point due to the new private sewage system.  

Have more questions about your selling your Anoka County home? 

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Posted by

Teri Eckholm. REALTOR with Boardman Realty, is a native Minnesotan who has lived and worked in the Minneapolis St Paul metro all of her life. She specializes in lakeshore homes, acreage properties and first time home buyers but assists anyone making a move in the north and east Twin Cities metro.

If you are buying, selling or relocating to Minnesota and need help from a professional REALTOR®, give Teri , a call or visit her website for a FREE Home Buyer Success Guide or FREE Home Value Report She specialize in acreage and lakeshore properties in the north and east Twin Cities metro area including Ham Lake, Lino Lakes and all communities in the Forest Lake School District! Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.

Copyright 2019 terieckholm.com



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William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

Anoka has some of the strictest codes and regs on septics.  Going blind at a home is not a good idea.

Mar 21, 2017 02:16 PM
Teri Eckholm

William, I find that communities in Washington, Ramsey and southern Chisago Counties are more strict than many Anoka County communities. With all the lakes and wetlands, I don't have  an issue with point of sale compliance testing. All buyers should request and smart sellers will check theirs before listing to avoid surprises.

Mar 21, 2017 05:42 PM
Diana White-Pettis
Bennett Realty Solutions - Upper Marlboro, MD
GRI, CDPE, CNE, WHC Upper Marlboro Homes for Sale


I agree that homeowners need to be fully informed about septic systems before they list their homes.  Otherwise, they will run into glitches that might delay the sale or even cause them to lose a sale.  Thanks for sharing!

Mar 22, 2017 07:22 AM