I think differently on that subject. I usually advise my clients to wait for the buyer to test the tank (it is their expense), and should it “pass” the test, then there is no need to remove the tank… unless it is negotiated upon. Obviously, if the tank does not pass the inspection process, and it is determined there is a leak, then it is the responsibility of the seller to remove the tank, and remediate. Once a leak has been detected, it is reported immediately, and a spill number is assigned by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). The costs can be minimal to immense.
My husband and I were personally fortunate years ago as we had oil tank insurance, and so when our oil tank was removed- and it looked like swiss cheese, we were covered for that $5,000 expenditure. We elected to purchase another oil tank, and it is safely buried in our front lawn. Some insurance companies will offer oil tank insurance, and others will only cover any or a portion of a spill spill if the ground water has been contaminated.
It is important if you are thinking of selling your home, and you have oil heat, to check on your insurance coverage… If you opt to wait until the buyer tests the tank, make sure you discuss at length with your attorney the pros and cons of signing a contract before it is determined what the costs will/could be. Perhaps allow yourself an ‘out’ if costs exceed a certain amount. Many times, a buyer will want to convert to gas rather than have another oil tank installed either in the ground or basement/garage. This again is all negotiable, and the seller (I feel) should not have to bear all the costs of a conversion…Everyone’s needs are different.
I recently saw a geo-probe. This was a mining device used to extricate core samples of the contaminated soil in long tubes, marking each tube, and mining to different depths to determine exactly how deep and extensive the soil was contaminated. Very scientific but so simple in its approach… That testing took about a week to achieve the results. There are also many companies who will test the tank for you, and companies that will remove the contaminated soil and tank.
Ask your agent for some names, and call several companies for quotes, and to learn about the process. It can be daunting, but when you call the companies, they are well versed in walking you through the process, and your agent should be on hand for you during the process too!
No matter what you decide, discuss your alternatives with your agent, your attorney, and research on the internet is always good too!
New Rochelle is GREAT!