The certified abandonment of a 275 tank and replacement above ground is about $1200-1500 and a 500+ tank is around $2,000. It is NOT the obligation of the seller. However, I always recommend to my sellers before they list to go ahead and do it so it does not become an issue.
If you love the home, buy the home and have it removed; do not lose the property by digging in your heals.
Regardless of the test outcome, you may not be comfortable with the tank being underground. You may want to ask for a credit at the closing to remove and replace the tank.
Best of Luck!!
If you are dead set against buried oil tanks, ask your realtor to sort for listings with above ground oil tanks or gas only. It is easy for a realtor to eliminate buried tanks from their search criteria on MLS. Good Luck with your search.
A sellers attorney, if they have half a brain, will strongly advise their client to NOT remove the buried oil tank - but rather work with the buyer to resolve the issue alternatively.
I agree with Carol - digging in heals will only hurt your chances. In this buyers market - where buyers are a hot commodity for hopeful sellers, you certainly can attempt to have the seller remove the tank, but even so, that will prove to be very difficult.
There's no rule or law that says anything has to be done with a buried oil tank. Now in terms of removal - this is something that if you request it, a seller will most likely NOT oblige due to the fact that it can cause many more problems. Any pressure tests, both negative and positive pressure tests can also cause a leak to occur so you're most likely not going to get any seller to have their tank tested or removed.
Filled yes - removed no. As a Realtor, I would advise my sellers to not remove or have tested their tanks. If a buyer pushes on one of these ends, I would simply advise my client to pass and wait for another buyer.
You'll find that even alot of attorney's are not well versed in buried oil tanks. It's one of those issues where there's no mandate for a residential owner to remove a buried oil tank.
So to answer your question - don't let a buried oil tank kill a deal on a house you like. Simply request that the oil tank be:
2. Filled by DEC certified Company - that will provide you, the new owner with a certificate.
And a new oil tank be put above ground. Request that when the work is done, that you are present and may work with the company to choose a location for the new tank.
In order to make it a SMOOTH transition - I recommend that you split the cost of the work.
Ultimately, you should consult your attorney to cover all your bases.