Homeowner Advice:
Selling a house with an oil tank

In todays real estate market, no one wants to make selling a home any harder.  Selling a house with an oil tank can make both the owner of the house and the Realtor pull their hair out. For right or for wrong houses with oil tanks carry a stigma that can reduce the curb appeal of a home.

Here is something most people won't tell you. 

One don't Google oil tank leak, you will see scary pages (no kidding). 

Yes a tank can leak, but most do not.  Older WWWII era tanks are better than 1970's era tanks.  Domestic vs imported steel. 

Every State allows a certain amount of oil in the ground, it is only when you are over an acceptable limit do you need to remediate a tank leak.  Think of an oil leak like cholesterol, some cholesterol is acceptable, if you are above a set limit, you may need a statin, maybe stop eating so much bacon. You determine this by having testing performed.   My point being no one can look and tell you you have a problem when a tank is removed by pointing out a few pin holes.  The need to remediate a tank leak is by soil sample laboratory analysis, which tells you if levels are above or below standard. 

The photo below shows a tank with many holes, but it did not need to be remediated. 

Why?, Because Curren tested the soil below the tank and found it to be within standard, the holes had no relevancy.  Yes there was oil in the ground, but not in sufficient quantity to warrant remediation.  If you want the straight facts, call Curren or email us and we will get back to you the same day (Monday to Friday) or on weekend the next business day, that is our pledge.


 selling a home with an oil tank

Oil tanks receive more bad press than good, because telling a story about a leaking oil tank is more interesting that talking about an oil tank that is not leaking and the fact is most oil tanks do not leak.


To top it off most companies that remove tanks do not want to discuss the What if the tank leaks.  The reason is simple, many firms make little money removing tank and make much more 


buying a home with an oil tank

If you take the proper steps you can overcome any stigma a buyer may have regarding an inground oil tank. The first step is to give your house some tank curb appeal.  No doubt your Realtor provided advice on preparing your house for prospective buyers, such as landscaping, painting and cleaning up clutter.   What they may not have provided is what to do with your oil tank.

The best defense is a good offense and what people are afraid of with an oil tank is if the oil tank is leaking.  If the tank is in use, have the tank tested or better still remove and replace the tank with an aboveground tank.

Oil tank testing by obtaining soil samples from around the buried tank provides concrete results regarding the oil tank.  If the soil test determines that the soil is acceptable, the home buyer can use the soil testing report to facilitate the tank closure process after the real estate closing. This will answer any question as to whether the tank presents an environmental hazard.  Although this is the cheapest, fastest and most direct approach, many homeowners still don't have their tank tested. It is more common that the homeowner tries to sell the house with the tank in the ground.  After a deal or two falls through because of the oil tank, most sellers realize that doing nothing with the oil tank can severely limit the number of potential buyers.

Tank Testing and Tank Certification

Please also expect a determination from testing of an in use oil tank is to have the tank removed, even if the tank passes the test?  Why remove a tank that passes a tank test?  Because the tank is old and will eventually leak.  No doubt the tank is well beyond a reasonable life span and any warranty the tank may have had. 

If the tank is not in use and will not be used (no one ever converts from oil to gas and goes back to oil) the no brainer approach is to have the tank removed and tested.  An unused oil tank is a liability plain and simple.

selling a home with an out of service oil tank

Tank removal is 

buying a home with an oil tank


This page is not meant to be all encompassing regarding oil tank testing during a real estate transaction, but rather to provide options.  Not every situation is the same, some tanks are being used, others have been taken out of service, others still have been filled in place with sand, foam or concrete.  No matter the situation, Curren has over 20 years in dealing with oil tanks.  If you have questions that this site has not addressed, contact our office and speak to one our professionals.   

10 Things to Know About Oil Tanks


Oil Tank Removal


Think you have an Oil Tank?   

Do want to check to see if the home you are buying has an oil tank?

Learn about tank scans with GPR, click the photo.

Tank Sweeps scan for hidden tanks  856-858-9509

Tank sweeps with GPR

oil tank home for sale

Curren Environmental, Inc. is your local, professional oil tank removal, oil tank testing and remediation contractor servicing, New Jersey,  Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren Counties. In Pennsylvania we service Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Montgomery & Delaware counties.


homes for sale with oil tanks