BlogBuying & SellingCentury 21 PreferredNew Jersey Real EstateNew Jersey RealtyNJ Property Management February 16, 2024

Why Should a NJ Home Buyer Have an Oil Tank Sweep Completed?

A tank sweep, also known as an underground oil tank sweep or tank scan, is a process in which professionals use specialized equipment to detect the presence of underground storage tanks (USTs) on a property.

This is particularly important for home buyers in New Jersey for several reasons:
Environmental Concerns – Many older homes in New Jersey used underground oil tanks for heating oil. If these tanks were not properly decommissioned or removed, they may have leaked over time, causing soil and groundwater contamination. Discovering such contamination early in the home-buying process can save buyers from potential environmental liabilities and cleanup costs.

Regulatory Compliance – New Jersey has stringent environmental regulations regarding underground storage tanks. Sellers are required to disclose the presence of any underground tanks, and buyers may face legal and financial consequences if they are unaware of or do not address these issues. A tank sweep helps buyers identify any potential problems before completing the purchase.
Oil Tank Sweep for Home Sale Process

Insurance Considerations – Some insurance companies may be hesitant to provide coverage for properties with underground tanks, especially if there is a risk of leakage or contamination. Knowing about the presence of a tank and its condition allows buyers to address any concerns and negotiate with insurance providers if necessary.
Property Value and Resale – A property with an underground tank and potential environmental issues may have reduced resale value. By conducting a tank sweep, buyers can make informed decisions about whether to proceed with the purchase, negotiate the price, or require the seller to address any tank-related issues.
Peace of Mind – Knowing the condition of the property and any potential environmental risks provides buyers with peace of mind. It allows them to make informed decisions about their investment and future homeownership.
It’s important for home buyers to work with qualified professionals, such as environmental consultants or tank sweep specialists, to conduct a thorough assessment of the property. This may involve using ground-penetrating radar, metal detectors, or other technologies to locate underground tanks and assess their condition. Ultimately, a tank sweep is a proactive step that can save buyers from potential headaches and financial burdens down the road. Lastly, if a UST is found through the efforts of the buyer’s inspection, it the responsibility of the seller to remove the tank at their own cost. The seller and buyer may negotiate terms and costs for the removal, but if there is no agreement, the buyer may walk away with no penalty. It’s in the sellers best interest to remove the UST.