I haven't posted regularly about the group of Realtors I meet with weekly, the Ninjas. We share best practices and the many challenges that arise during our real estate transactions. Many times we share issues that may help each other currently or to avoid problems in the future. One such item that came up recently was about sewer scopes. I highly recommend (or insist) that all my buyer's get one on the home that they intend to purchase. How does it work? The technician doing the service finds the sewer clean out and runs a cord through the line until they get to the city junction. The end of the line holds a small camera which records the condition of the sewer line. In at least half the scopes a problem comes to light that most sellers have been completely unaware of: among them, root intrusion, bellies (that cause backups), and disentegrating materials such as clay pipes or orangeberg. The sewer scope company furnishes a DVD of the scope and the service costs up to $125. A possibly desperate form of entertainment at a later date, but one that is aptly watched by both buyers and sellers at the time one is performed.
A good point that came up at my Ninja meeting (there is a story behind the name) is to negotiate with the company that does any repair work on the line to furnish another scope at the end of their work included in the repair price. Recently a line that had been repaired in the last three years ended up having faulty work done that the seller was required to correct- even though they had already paid for the prior work. In real estate a bad sewer line is almost always the responsibility of the seller and can easily run $3,000 or more when part or an entire line needs to be replaced. This way our buyers will be assured that they will not be inheriting a problem that the next buyers will surely ask them to take care of before they purchase. So not just one sewer scope, but two, both before and after repairs.