Roughly 13 million households rely on private wells for drinking water in the U.S., according to the American Housing Survey 2017. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not regulate private wells or provide recommendations or criteria to maintain them. As a result, private well owners are responsible for the safety of their drinking water.
Due to the additional maintenance, prospective homebuyers are sometimes deterred by well water. That tends to occur when a homebuyer has historically only used city water, where the only action required of them was turning on a tap.
To overcome this challenge, consider the following tips on selling a well water home.
Educate Homebuyers on the Potential Benefits of a Well Water Home
Part of the reason that potential homebuyers may be deterred by well water is because it’s an unknown commodity to them. To help sell a well water home, it’s important to understand how well water works and the potential benefits of using it. That information will prove invaluable during showings, particularly if you have a prospective buyer that expresses concerns about switching to well water. It’s important to know that well water comes from aquifers, which are protected natural resources from within the earth. This can help to bring peace of mind, as they know where the water is coming from when they turn on the tap. The pumps and mechanical parts of a well can often last for 20 years or more, according to the “Real Estate Agent’s Guide to Buying or Selling Homes With Wells.”
It will also benefit you (and/or your real estate agent) to know the well’s:
- Condition, location and age
- Capacity and yield
- If any water treatment devices are installed and how regularly they’ve been maintained
This information can help you or your real estate agent come prepared to showings, particularly when questions are asked.
Regularly Maintain Your Well Water System
Every spring, at the very least, you should check your well to ensure there are no mechanical problems, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Additionally, at least once a year, the CDC recommends testing your well water for total coliform bacteria, nitrates, total dissolved solids, and pH levels. If there are any other contaminants of concern locally, test for those as well. These tests can be expensive, but they are necessary to ensure the safety of your drinking water — and that of your future homebuyer.
Start by contacting your local health or environmental department, who can test for certain contaminants. They should also have a list of licensed laboratories in your area that test for different substances. If they find the water in an existing well is less than ideal, they can also help locate and build a new well in a safer area.
Schedule a Water Test Before Listing Your Property
If you’re trying to sell your well water home, it might be wise to schedule your annual drinking water test just before listing the property. That way, during showings, you have data to show that the well water has been recently checked and is safe to drink.
Your prospective homebuyer may also request a drinking water test be conducted as part of the home inspection.
There may be additional tests or requirements to fulfill before you can sell your well water home, depending on where you live. Contact your local health department for more information.
Alternative to Listing a Well Water Home
Potential buyers may still be hesitant to take on the burden of maintaining a well water home. As a result, you may find your property spending more time on the market than you’d like. If you’re tired of waiting or closings keep falling through, you might consider selling your property to a homebuying company, such as The Buy Guys. We pay cash for houses “as is” in Florida, Georgia and Texas. That means we buy them in any condition. If we’re able to make you an offer, you don’t have to make any updates to the property to sell it.
Additionally, the virtual process is quick and easy.
To find out how much your well water home is worth, give us a call at (888) 204-7603 for a free estimate in minutes.