The Importance of Sewer Scopes During a Home Inspection

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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Tips to Give Real Estate Agents an Edge over the Competition

Tips to Give Real Estate Agents an Edge over the Competition

Tips to Give Real Estate Agents an Edge over the Competition 

Being a real estate agent can be very rewarding, but there’s no denying that the industry is highly competitive. With steep competition, even the slightest edge counts. At the same time, every single agent out there is chasing that fabled edge. What is their edge and how can you achieve it? 

Not to worry! Today, we’ll be discussing 4 tips on how you can stand out over the competition. 

Give sellers a personal touch 

Selling a home is exciting, but it can also be a stressful endeavor. Many real estate agents think that the highest offer alone will do the trick. To be clear, we’re not saying it won’t; more money is always great, but there are advantages to going beyond just financial benefits.  

Every seller’s personal circumstance will vary, and you should anticipate and account for them. Start by asking the listing agent what the seller’s timeline is as well as any helpful contextual information. Make it a point to meet the sellers yourself and find out how you can best accommodate their needs. 

Giving sellers this personal touch will set you head and shoulders above your competition. If you can remain flexible to the sellers’ circumstances and offer accommodating closing options, then sellers will often go with you for sake of convenience over an agent who’s simply offering them more money. 

Take a page (or several) from your competitors’ books 

People tend to thumb their nose at copying tactics and strategies from their competitors. We’re not saying that you should copy your competitors’ every move; but it can be beneficial to consider the secrets of success behind the most productive agents in your area. These people or companies are successful because they’re doing something right. It’s up to you to find out what it is! 

It can be helpful to review your competitors’ websites and note the varying services they offer or how their process differs from yours. Every little bit counts! From the language they use in their marketing material to the ease of navigation on their website 

Make life easier for your buyers 

With the market becoming more and more saturated every day, many potential buyers are overwhelmed by options and lack the time to tour properties in-person. In fact, a recent survey revealed that around 80% of home buyers make the decision whether to purchase a property while browsing online. 

This statistic makes a lot of sense considering people’s lives have gotten increasingly busy over the last year and half. A property visit can take a long time to schedule and often does not provide enough information for the buyer to make a confident same-day decision. Comparatively, people can get almost the same amount of information online from the comfort of their home using only a fraction of the time. 

As a real estate agent, it’s essential to remove time-consuming hurdles in your clients’ buying experience using all the technological tools that are available to you. For instance, 360 photos and virtual tours can be beneficial as they offer a real-time view of the property before the buyer schedules a visit. This will save you and your buyer time and eliminate the need of scheduling multiple in-person visits. 

Make a great first impression 

First impressions are everything! When you meet your buyers and sellers, make an effort to look as professional as possible. First impressions last, and your clients will remember how you conducted yourself in the first meeting.  

Making a great first impression depends on a number of factors including how you’re dressed, your body language, and even authenticity. You’d be surprised how many times your clients have been given the standard sales pitch. It can be refreshing for you and your clients to step outside of the typical pitch. Leave your usual script at home and try something new; be open and honest about everything. People tend to react more sincerely when they know you’re being honest and authentic. We’re not telling you to discard the pitch entirely, just stick to one that leaves room for creativity and adjust your selling points to the individual client needs. 

    A Great Home Inspection Partner

    Also Helps Make a Great First Impression!

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    Tim Krapfl, Certified Master Inspector

    Tim Krapfl, Certified Master Inspector

    Meet Tim Krapfl, Certified Master Inspector (CMI)

    Tim is one of Axium’s SEVEN Certified Master Inspectors — a designation reserved for the best inspectors in the world! 

    Before Axium, Tim was a roofing contractor for many years. Born in Iowa, he is a walking contradiction rooting for the Cubs & Dolphins in his spare time.  Tim heads-up training all new inspectors as well as re-training as required so Axium can continue to offer the best inspections in the industry.

    Tim consistently receives glowing remarks about his services, including these recent remarks: 

    “Tim did a thorough inspection.  I appreciated the full report but especially the summary that made it very easy to see the issues at a glance.  Since we are in a different state, Tim was able to have a follow-up phone conversation so we could ask questions and get further information. Very happy with the job done.” Jamie D. Google 5-Star Review

    “We recently purchased a home and needed a fast home inspection service. Axium Inspections was recommended by our broker and we cannot be happier with their services. Tim, Mike and team were on time and showed all the COVID related courtesy. They were completely thorough with their inspections and explained all details in terms that are easy to follow. We would highly recommend Axium Inspections for any home inspection!” Allison Z. Google 5-Star Review

    “Home purchase inspection. Prompt, professional and knowledgable. Tim rocks!” Kyle B. Google 5-Star Review

    Tim Specializes in:

    • Commercial Inspections
    • Home Inspections
    • Wood-Destroying Organism Inspections
    • Well-Water Testing
    • Infrared Inspections

    Schedule Tim, or any of our outstanding inspectors today!

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    Radon & Real Estate

    Radon & Real Estate

    teAccording to the EPA, about half the homes in Colorado have higher radon levels than the US EPA recommended action level of 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L).  In a home-buying transaction, it is wise to recommend a radon test to ensure your customer has accurate information regarding the state of the home they are interested in, and can formulate an action plan should a home have elevated levels of radon that need mitigated.

    This article will provide a brief overview of radon, as well as some recommendations by the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment as it pertains to radon and real estate.

    What is Radon? 
    Radon is a naturally-occurring radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer. Radon gas is inert, colorless and odorless. Radon is naturally in the atmosphere in trace amounts.

    Why Should We Be Concerned About Radon?
    Breathing radon over time increases your risk of lung cancer. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. Nationally, the EPA estimates that about 21,000 people die each year from radon-related lung cancer. Only smoking causes more lung cancer deaths.

    Radon in Real Estate

    Radon disclosure is required in CO real estate transactions.  Section N of the Environment Conditions portion of the CO Sellers Property Disclosure Form specifically lists radon as a hazard that, if known by the seller to exist or ever have existed, must be disclosed. This is true even if previous test results were less than 4 pCi/L. In all cases, sellers should provide copies of any test results to potential buyers. If a radon mitigation system exists, it should also be disclosed, as it is presumed that radon had existed previously, and that if the system were to fail, the radon level would return to its original level.

    Keeping Your Clients’ Homes Safe For Years to Come

    1 – As part of the home inspection process, advise or request a short-term radon test using a certified radon measurement contractor.  Many home inspectors can offer this service

    2 – If the short-term test result is less than 4 pCi/L, the EPA does not recommend any immediate action; however, consider conducting a long-term test (90 days up to a year) after your family moves into the home, as there is still some risk at exposures less than 4 pCi/L.

    If the short-term test result is 4 pCi/L or higher, consider repair negotiations between the buyer and seller.  The seller is not legally required to pay for mitigation; this is a negotiation just like any other home repair.

     3 – If a mitigation system is to be installed, seek bids from NRPP or NRSB certified mitigation contractors who are willing to guarantee the results to below 4 pCi/L.  Certified contractors have been trained in the proper placement of radon measurement devices and the interpretation of the results. They use high-quality testing devices that can accurately determine the radon risk of the home.

    4 – If the seller is willing to pay for the mitigation system, work with their real estate professional to determine the best way to obtain funding from the seller and have the system installed by a certified technician after taking possession of the property to ensure that the customer is happy with the design.

    How Can We Help?

    Axium offers a comprehensive menu of services, including radon testing and mitigations. Contact our certified mitigation specialists at 720-740-2338. 

    Take $50 off a radon test with the coupon code NEWS50 and/or $250 off a radon mitigation with coupon code NEWS250.  

     

    Tips & Tools for Lead & Client Organization

    Tips and Tools to Organize Leads & Customers

    Benjamin Franklin said, “For every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned.” This applies especially to realtors. Every minute you spend organizing saves you a lot of time and headache later on; but only if you organize well, which is easier said than done. Poor organization is almost as bad as no organization at all.

    We’ve all been there, we work with leads and clients all day and data keeps piling up. This data needs to be noted and saved for us to be able to work efficiently. But how?  Today we’ll be sharing a couple of tips with you that you can use to organize your notes effectively as well as their practical applications.

    Tip #1: Befriend technology

    Technology is changing at an astonishing pace these days, and it’s affecting every industry (ours included). That’s why 45% of the brokers in the US report that keeping up with technology is the biggest hurdle their agents face.

    Keeping up with technology can be scary; there’s something new each day, but it does come with its benefits. According to research, realtors earning $100,000 or more are more than twice as likely to use advanced technological tools to organize their workflow (including their notes). We’ll cover two ways through which you can supercharge your notes using technology.

    1. Use a CRM

    CRM is short for Customer Relationship Management. CRM systems are online tools that help you stay in touch, and manage relationships with your prospective and existing clients. You no longer have to worry about forgetting to send a follow-up email or forgetting to schedule a meeting, the CRM will take care of it for you.

    When used efficiently, a CRM will make your job a hundred times easier and save you a lot of anxiety. Some notable CRMs for real estate agents are BoomTown, HubSpot, Contactually & Wise Agent.

    1. Free apps

    When it comes to just organizing your notes, apps like Evernote, OneNote, and Simplenote are just as good as a CRM. Best of all, these apps are free. So if you don’t need the extra features of a CRM, you can download these apps and within a few minutes you’ll be able to take your notes to the next level.

    Tip #2: Go beyond just simple note-taking

    As a realtor, you encounter a lot of properties, vendors, leads, and clients (both buyers and sellers). Even if you’re fairly efficient at taking and organizing your notes, things can get quite confusing. Which client wanted a house with the mountain view? And which house needed new floors in the living room!? Here are three ways you can solve this problem.

    1. Use pictures & Video

    We usually think of note-taking as just jotting down text. But these days, good note-taking goes beyond that. It’s been proven time and time again that human beings are much better with visual information than we are at remembering and organizing walls of text. So the first thing you should do is take lots of pictures for your notes. That way, even if your notes are missing some details you later need, you’ll be able to pull up the pictures to fill in those missing details.

    1. Don’t forget the human factor

    No matter which method you’re using for your note-taking, you have to organize your notes around the leads and the clients. Include even the smallest details such as their birthdays or their wedding anniversary and send them flowers and gifts on special occasions.

    3. Summarize

    Detailed notes are great but it’s a pain to sift through ten pages of notes to find one crucial detail.  Always summarize your notes when they are fresh in your brain. So, what can you include in your summary? Your personal impressions of the home, how each room makes you feel, the dimensions of each room, and the renovations or repairs that are needed. You can even rate each home you visit on a scale of 1-10 based on this criteria. Summarizing will save you a lot of headache later on.

    These tips and tools will enable you to organize your notes much better and as a result, you’ll become a lot more efficient at your work. Let us know if you applied any of these tips and how they benefited you.

    If you’d like for us to cover a particular topic in our upcoming newsletters, please let us know!

     Call us at 720-740-2338 to schedule an inspection today!

    Save $50 on your next inspection service with promo code NEWS50.

    Benefits of Well Water Quality Testing & Inspections

    Benefits of Well Water Quality Testing & Inspections

    A number of Colorado homes utilize wells to provide water to drink, cook, bathe and so much more. Frequent Well Water Testing is essential to ensure resident’s health and safety and there is no better time to test a home then when you are buying or selling it!

    Axium Inspections provides first-rate Well Water Quality Testing and Inspections.  We test to ensure that your water quality is high, that it is not contaminated and that your well-pump is working at optimal capacity.

    During a well water quality inspection, we take samples of the water for analysis at a local lab as well as conduct a well-water flow test. We will test that the pump operates at an acceptable capacity for an extended period of time by measuring the time in which it takes the well to fill a five-gallon bucket. This gives us a more accurate estimate wherein we can then provide you with information on your well-pump’s functionality. It also lets us know whether there may be any issues such as a crack in your pump that otherwise would not be discovered.

    Domestic Water Sample Reports Include:

    • Total Alkalinity (mg/L as CaCo3)
    • Bicarbonate (mg/L)
    • Carbonate (mg/L)
    • Chloride (mg/L)
    • Iron (mg/L)
    • Fluoride (mg/L)
    • Potassium (mg/L)
    • Nitrate Nitrogen (mg/L)
    • pH (units)
    • Calcium (mg/L)
    • Magnesium (mg/L)
    • Sodium (mg/L)
    • Sodium Adsorption Ration (units)
    • Total Hardness (mg/L as CaCO3)
    • Sulfate (mg/L)
    • Total Dissolved Solids(mg/L)
      *mg/L = Milligrams Per Liter or PPM

    August is National Water Quality Month! Save $50 on your next Well-Water Quality Inspection with promo code NEWS50. Call us at 720-740-2338 or click the button below to schedule on our website today!