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Last Updated on September 20, 2021

While there may be snow on the ground and the thermometer can’t seem to get above freezing, Spring is a mere twenty one home for saledays away. Homebuyers will hopefully be out in force by then along with the crocuses. If you’re getting ready to list your house, you might be concerned about an oil tank on your property. Whether it’s an oil tank that is in use or abandoned, above ground or below ground, there are steps you can take address any buyer concerns before they walk through your door.

For oil tanks that are still in use:

  • It’s a good idea to make sure your entire home heating system is in good working order.
  • Have copies of any services performed on your heating system on hand if a buyer has any questions

If the oil tank is located underground:

  • Check first to see if the buyer of the property requires the tank to be removed as part of the closing process.
  • If not, continue reading..
  • Even if you’re confident the tank isn’t leaking you should at least have the tank and surrounding soil tested. Visit our Soil & Tank Testing page for information on this.
  • If the tank hasn’t leaked you can provide the test results to buyers.
  • You should consider purchasing oil tank insurance to cover you in the event there is a tank leak. Speak to your fuel oil dealer for information on purchasing.

If you have an abandoned underground oil tank:

  • Depending on when the tank was de-commissioned you may need to have it removed as the closure requirements have changed
  • If the tank was abandoned prior to you owning the house and you don’t have the paperwork, your best option is to have the tank removed.

If you have an above ground oil tank you should perform a visual inspection:

  • Above ground tanks can leak too
  • See if there is any oil on the ground surface that may have resulted from a spill during delivery
  • Check for signs of any rust on the tank
  • Look for any signs of oil stains around the supply and return lines as well as the fill pipe and vent pipe

When interviewing realtors, ask what their experience is in selling homes with oil tanks as they are your advocate during the closing process.

home for saleTaking these steps, while they aren’t a guaranty that the buyer won’t eventually ask to have the oil tank removed, will at least be a part of getting your house in the best shape to present it to buyers and hopefully result in a stress free sale.

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