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Wood Stove Issues in Selling a Home 

One of the required seller disclosure checklists most realtors go through when writing up a listing is for wood stoves. Since 1985, a certification sticker from Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) or the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is required to indicate that the wood stove is certified. These stickers are typically on the back of the stove and not always easily accessible, particularly if it is being inspected while in use during the winter. Sellers of homes are responsible for removing uncertified wood stoves at their expense. If there is a non-certified wood stove or insert in a home, it is best to take care of it before putting the home on the market. Removing it alone is not desirable as there will usually be an empty spot with masonry and a pedestal from the removed stove and a hole in the ceiling and buyers will feel like they have been robbed of something they thought they were getting.

In one recent transaction, the home was built in 1991, which is after the certification requirement date, so one would expect this would not be an issue. However, the stove ended up being a 1970s model. Another transaction involved a 1950s home that had an uncertified insert and was represented by the sellers as being certified based on information they received whey they purchased their home. Inspection revealed this woodstove was uncertified as well. In both transactions, the stoves were not the only source of heat, but once a buyer has offered to purchase a home with wood and forced air heat, removing the woodstove can be a deal breaker. In each case, the buyers were ready to walk away from the deal unless the stove was replaced or the seller provided a credit for the cost of replacement.

The solution to both cases ended up being very simple: find a used certified equivalent unit and replace it for about $1500 total. Fortunately, there are certified used wood stoves around that can be installed by chimney sweeps and stores that sell them. When buyers ask for a cash credit from sellers, the number is closer to $4,500, and this causes contention on both sides. Since the seller has to remedy it, it makes more sense to take care of this before placing the home on the market, and a newer, certified wood stove can be a selling point.

A list of certified stoves by manufacturer and model is available on the EPA website: epa.gov.


204 SE Roosevelt Ave, Bend, OR 97702

2 beds, 1 baths, 938 square feet,

.14 acre lot | Built in 1945


Listed by John L Scott Central Oregon Redmond


Address: 61112 Deer Valley Dr, Bend, OR 97702

3 beds, 2 baths, 1754square feet,

.34 acre lot | Built in 1980


Listed by Windermere Central Oregon Real Estate


Address: 61677 Woodriver Dr

3 beds, 2.5 baths, 3290 square feet,

.25 acre lot | Built in 2015


Listed by Kine & Kine Properties

Photos and listing info from Central Oregon Multiple Listing Service

About The Author

Nick Nayne, Principal Broker

Principal Broker at The Broker Network Realty in Bend, OR. Over 12 years experience in Real Estate working with buyers, sellers and investment properties.
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