Buying or Selling a House with a Propane Tank: What You Need to Know

Posted by Chris Kauffman
| November 2017

Propane heat can be a major selling point when putting your house on the market and looking for a new home. But let’s say...

You’ve put your house up for sale—but the house hasn’t sold yet, and you still need propane for heating purposes.

You don’t want to give the new owners hundreds or even over a thousand dollars worth of propane gas! Should you run the tank down or is there some way to charge the new owners?

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Here’s what you need to know as a buyer or seller of a propane heating home:

Provide a history of your tank maintenance

The propane tank itself will become an asset for your home as long as the tank and it’s gas lines are well-maintained.

As the seller, you should gather documentation for your propane tank and appliance maintenance (this could include invoices, account statements for with your provider).

Providing maintenance records gives the buyer assurance that the added cost of the propane tank and appliances you’ve tacked onto the asking price is worth it.

Prorate the propane gas in your tank

When selling your propane heated home, you’re entitled as the seller to prorate off the propane gas left in your tank.

As a seller, you’ll need to receive a written statement from the supplier as to the amount and current market price you should use to calculate the additional cost of the propane gas.

Unfortunately, propane proration isn’t always a simple process.

The complexity of prorating propane stems from fluctuating propane prices. You may not be able to charge the retail price per gallon. You’ll have to clear this up with your supplier. They’ll consider:

  • Size of the tank
  • Frequency of refilling (appliances come into play)
  • Duration of the buyer’s new contract

It’s common practice to go with the reimbursement fee the seller’s propane company has calculated.

Though there is always a chance that the buyer might argue they could get a better deal or a new customer discount by signing on with another provider. It doesn’t seem fair, but this is something you should prepare for when trying to sell off your existing propane.

Schedule tank removal if the tank is not owned and wanted

More times than not, propane homeowners will probably want to buy from or sell to other propane homeowners.

But on the off chance that the home is of interest, but not the propane tank, the seller needs to remove the tank before closing. The seller of the property is responsible for having their provider remove the tank if they do not own it or the buyer doesn’t want propane service.

This may seem like a no-brainer, but keep in mind the buyer may not be explicit about changes they plan to make to the property after closing. Maybe upgrading the tank with another provider is on their home checklist. You don’t want to get caught in the snag as the seller, or stuck with an unwanted propane tank as a buyer.

Play it safe and lay all your cards on the table before closing.

Prospective homeowners should discuss propane usage before closing

Whether you’re buying or selling a home heated by propane gas, you want to have a discussion with the other party about the propane tank on the property. It’s much easier when both buyer and seller are on the same page about propane usage and standards for upkeep.

This makes it easier to move on to settling on a standard prorated price for the cost of the property plus the propane gas. Then you can be on your way to move into a home with a fitting propane tank.

Choose a more reliable propane gas provider - call Kauffman Gas

Chris Kauffman

About the Author

Chris Kauffman

Chris is the Vice President of Kauffman Gas. He is the fourth generation of Kauffmans involved in the daily operations of Kauffman Gas. He helps lead the team in delivering propane gas and top quality service to customers in Chester County, Lancaster County and parts of Delaware County, Pennsylvania.