Recommending a sewer line inspection is good business practice. Here’s how to inform clients confidently.
Clients turn to real estate agents to guide them through the complexities of the home-buying process, including inspections that will evaluate the integrity of the home and its systems. A sewer line inspection—which does not always come with a traditional home inspection—completes the assessment. Recommending one can increase a real estate agent’s credibility and reputation, especially if a critical issue is spotted before closing.
Real estate agents have their clients’ best interests at heart and want to be educated about sewer line inspections before suggesting one. Read on for a detailed overview to help you pass on good information.
Why recommend a sewer line inspection?
A real estate agent’s reputation is their stock in trade. That’s been true for decades. But reputation has an even greater impact today as online ratings and comments shape prospective clients’ decisions about who they’ll work with.
You can imagine what happens if a family purchases a home and within days or even a few months, the sinks, toilets, and tubs back up. Homebuyers tend to get particularly upset if there’s a serious sewer line problem. Families that might absorb the modest cost of a sewer line cleaning can be overwhelmed by repair expenses that average $7,500 in the Denver front range and sometimes stretch to $25,000 or more.
It’s human nature that in these situations, some people will look for someone to blame. A real estate agent makes for an easy—if entirely unfair—target. Some homebuyers will question the agent’s expertise. Why didn’t they warn me? Why did they let me buy a home that was in poor condition?
Routinely recommending sewer line inspections with all home closings is a great way to guard the reputation you’ve spent so much effort building. By advising clients to seek a sewer line inspection, you help guide homebuyers toward deeper knowledge about the house before they sign on the dotted line.
A little education goes a long way
The good news is that it’s easy to educate clients about the importance of a sewer line inspection. Simply tell them:
- Sewer line issues are common in Colorado for many reasons, including our shifting soils and annual hard freeze and thaw cycle.
- New houses and older homes can be affected by sewer line issues, such as root overgrowth or crushed or misaligned pipes that slow or prevent drainage.
- Some repairs can be expensive, so it’s best to understand the status of the sewer line before closing so any issues can be resolved.
- A sewer line inspection is a very affordable way to gain an expert opinion on the functionality of the sewer line.
- We can include this requirement in the sales contract. You can gain confidence with an “all clear” report. Or if a problem is discovered, we can go back to the seller to find a solution you’re comfortable with.
Want to keep the conversation short? Feel free to point clients to A Homebuyer’s Complete Guide to Sewer Line Inspections and our 90-second video about the process.
Choose an independent inspection
Recommending a sewer line inspection is important. Recommending the right type of sewer line inspection is absolutely essential, for you and your client.
The fact is, no real estate agent wants to complicate the closing process without good reason. If there is an actual issue with a sewer line, by all means the agent wants to protect the client’s interests. But bogging down a deal for a problem that’s not really there—that makes no sense.
Unfortunately, unnecessary repair and cleaning recommendations crop up all too often in this industry. This happens because certain plumbing and home repair companies offer sewer line inspections as a way to sell their other services. They attract inspection business by offering cut-rate prices but they make it up (and some!) by nearly always finding something they insist needs attention.
This frustrates us as much as it does homebuyers and real estate agents! We know that when the closing timeframe is tight, negotiations have been challenging, or the seller shows little interest in issues uncovered during inspections—in all kinds of circumstances—questionable “findings” in a sewer line inspection can make a real mess.
Avoid the hassle by choosing trustworthy companies to recommend to your clients. How can you tell? Refer clients to expert providers that only do sewer line inspections. These companies don’t handle maintenance or repairs so there’s no upside if they “find something” that isn’t there.
With an independent sewer line inspection, you’ll get a more informed opinion, usually based on exposure to thousands upon thousands of complicated sewer line situations (at least that’s the case with Sewer View). And you can rest assured that what your client and you are being told is untainted by financial interest in recommending repairs.
Selling agents—are you getting the run around on a sewer line issue?
It’s terrible to be on the receiving end of a biased sewer line inspection. If you’re representing a seller who is being asked for expensive maintenance or repairs and isn’t sure if the sewer line inspection report is reliable, you do have choices.
Sewer View will provide an independent evaluation at no cost. We review the original report and video footage and supply our expert opinion. We do this because we believe that homebuyers, real estate agents, and the sewer line inspection industry are all better off when home sales are predicated on reliable sewer line reports.
The Bottom Line
Recommending a pre-closing sewer line inspection is good business practice for a real estate agent. It helps ensure clients are fully informed about the integrity of the home.
With Sewer View, the process couldn’t be simpler. We offer a set price through real estate agents and never add unexpected fees. And because we know closing can come fast, the majority our of inspections are scheduled same or next day.
We would be honored if you would consider vetting us on behalf of your clients, so please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information or to set up an account for quick scheduling.