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I Am Getting Ready to Sell my House, What Do I Need to Know?

old rusted oil tank being removed from ground

We know selling your home can be a stressful time, but GreenTRAX is here to help take 1 more thing off your plate, and make 1 big buyer concern go away. We’re here to handle your buried oil tank.

Did you know most buyers today will NOT purchase a home with a buried heating oil tank? Either the buyers or the buyer’s realtor will insist on removing the tank before settlement. This is standard practice in today’s market due to the environmental concern of a potentially leaking tank.  

But, even if you get a buyer who is ok with the UST (underground storage tank), their lender or home insurance company can prevent the buyer from going to settlement until the tank is removed, and you have the closure report with all required documents including a clean soil sample showing there is no longer an environmental concern.

The first thing to consider is that the average life of a UST is 20 years. It is most likely that your existing tank is much older than that. So, it needs to be removed or properly abandoned in place by an MDE licensed removal contractor such as GreenTRAX, Inc. Do not wait until the last minute before settlement to deal with the tank because, while the process can be rushed, it does add cost to the project. You have to allow time for things like “Miss Utility” to mark the property, obtain any permits for your area, perform the work onsite, have the lab process soil samples, and compile a proper closure report to prove the tank was dealt with properly AND legally (by GreenTRAX).

In the event your tank is found to be leaking there are additional steps (as well as costs) in the process that need to happen that will inevitably require more time (and money). In the worst case scenario, you wait too long to deal with this and you have one of the rare projects that the MDE requires more work than normal, which will lead to an even longer completion time. This will cause the sale to either be delayed or the work to take place when the new buyer is in the property, which will lead to you having to escrow thousands of dollars in additional funds to cover the work.

We know what you’re thinking “My tank isn’t leaking”. However, in reality, no one ever knows. One tiny pinhole in the tank can leak approx. 50 gallons of oil a year. Between differences in temperature, thermostat settings, as well as cost of oil variations no one can ever tell based on usage if the tank is leaking. No, the oil delivery company does not monitor that for you. Most people only know they have a problem with the oil tank if the heat shuts off due to excess sludge build up or water in the tank. If water can get in, then oil can get out. Additionally, if your oil company tells you the whistle alarm is not functioning, this is a good indicator that the tank is way past its useful life and needs to be replaced.

Let the professionals at GreenTRAX solve this problem for you.

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More To Explore

The Maryland Department of the Environment is cancelling the reimbursement fund for homeowners with leaking heating oil tanks!

This cancellation takes effect June 30th, 2024. You need to have your buried oil tank removed NOW, so if the tank is leaking you can get reimbursed for remediation costs before the program goes away. Click here for more information on the reimbursement fund as it operates now.

We urge everyone to contact their representatives in Annapolis and the Governors office and tell them DO NOT cancel the homeowner reimbursement fund for leaking residential oil tanks! They can still renew this program before this year’s legislative session ends.

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