No one likes to think about putting their beautiful rural home up for sale, but circumstances often demand that we do just that.
It can be because of a situation where a better opportunity exists in another location and giving up the family homestead is necessary. Other times it’s when the remaining family member can no longer care for the property, so the family home needs to be put on the real estate market and sold. Whatever the reason, rural homes are listed and sold.
Rural homes are very much in demand by people who want to escape city life and live at a slower pace in the country. If it must be listed for sale, be sure to showcase what might be the most desirable feature of the property: the private water well.
If you are about to list your rural home with a private water well, you might want to consider how the well and delivery system will look to a prospective buyer. As you list all the wonderful features the home has, be sure to promote the water well and delivery system.
Too often the water well has been left alone year after year because it works so reliably. Because of this, the water well is often neglected unless it needs servicing. So before you or your realtor list the home on the market, take a minute to inspect the water well and delivery system components.
Perform a Walk Around Inspection
One of the first things a homeowner should do before listing a rural property served solely by a private water well is inspect the well and related equipment and understand just how it works. Even if you don’t know what the equipment is or how it works, just ask yourself how will it look to a prospective buyer who may know even less about a private water well.
Either you or your listing realtor should take pictures of the well and equipment to show to a buyer. Looking at the photographs of the well, the tanks, and electrical control equipment, ask yourself a simple question. Does it look like it has been kept in a condition that you would feel comfortable drinking the water coming from it? If it doesn’t look sanitary enough for you to drink from, how would it look to a buyer?
Is the area around the well clean, neat, and properly bordered or fenced to keep undesirable activities from being performed around it that might damage it or discharge wastewater or chemicals near it? Is the well covered with old blankets, weeds, or other discarded materials? Or is it a neat and maintained piece of equipment? Water storage and pressure tanks should be clean and protected from the elements.
Most states require the seller of the property to make a disclosure about all the major components of the property to a prospective buyer. Often referred to as the SPDS (pronounced “spuds”), it stands for Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement. It should include a statement about the productivity and reliability of the water well and water delivery system. Some states require a statement from the seller about the quality of the water it has produced.
Of course, it is usually up to the prospective buyer to investigate these matters for themselves as part of their due diligence. Realtors are not expected to know or report any facts about the aquifer, the well, or the equipment that makes up the system. They are typically cautioned against making statements or claims about the well or the water quality. They just provide the buyer with the information provided by the seller and any report provided by the home or well inspector to the buyer.
Therefore, it is up to the seller to demonstrate that this very essential part of the homestead is a good and reliable source of water for the home. It is the buyer’s responsibility to investigate all aspects of the home to their satisfaction.
Listing a rural property for sale that is supported exclusively by a private or shared water well should consider the importance of the appearance of the well and associated equipment to a prospective buyer. While it’s important that the home has a good roof, good heating and cooling, and many features inside the home that would attract a buyer’s attention, it is vitally important the home have a good reliable water supply of safe and potable water.
Besides, what is the value of the home without the water well?
About the Author
Gary Hix is a Registered Professional Geologist in Arizona, specializing in hydrogeology. He was the 2019 William A. McEllhiney Distinguished Lecturer for The Groundwater Foundation. He is a former licensed water well drilling contractor and remains actively involved in the National Ground Water Association and Arizona Water Well Association.
To learn more about Gary’s work, go to In2Wells.com. His eBooks, “Domestic Water Wells in Arizona: A Guide for Realtors and Mortgage Lenders” and “Shared Water Wells in Arizona,” are available on Amazon.