The Importance of Sewer Scopes During a Home Inspection
Most home buyers would not consider closing on a new home without getting a general home inspection. Inspections are an important component of a transaction as they provide critical information about the condition of a home and its systems. Inspections can alert your buyers to any safety issues, costly repairs and give your clients a great snapshot of what their potential investment holds – both positive and negative.
In addition to a general home inspection, your home buyers should consider scheduling a sewer scope. Sewer systems are often overlooked as they are underground – out of sight and mind. However, every home has a sewer line that has the potential to be damaged or obstructed. Damaged sewer lines can be one of the most expensive repairs to encounter in a home.
Nick Gromicko, founder of the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI), describes a sewer scope as “a video inspection of the lateral sewer line leading from the house at/near the foundation and connecting to the city or HOA tap or septic tank. A lateral sewer line is the privately-owned pipeline connecting the property to the publicly-owned main sewer line, HOA tap, or septic tank. Sewer-scoping the line can reveal blockages, damage to the pipe system, and other problems, which are vital for homeowners and home buyers to be aware of. For example, if there is a damp depression in the lawn above the sewer line, or if there is backflow into the home, or if contaminants have been discovered in the potable water supply, a sewer scope inspection can be critical to identifying and confirming these problems, which must be addressed immediately.”
Sewer scopes take about 30 minutes to complete and are relatively cost efficient ($194 from Axium Inspections) but could save your buyer thousands in potential future repairs. According to Angi, replacing or repairing a sewer line costs an average of $2500, with a typical range between $1100 and $4100. An untreated issue can cause sewage back up in the basement or the yard, adding an additional layer of unexpected expenses to repair the issue and clean up the waste.
If the lines are clean, your buyer can move forward with their transaction with peace of mind. However, if a problem is called out during the sewer line inspection, you can use the report to help guide your buyer on next steps, depending on the severity of the issue by assessing the damages, getting an estimate of repair costs and negotiating who the responsible party is to fix the issue.
Ultimately, adding a simple sewer scope can save your buyers time, money and headaches in the long run.
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