1. Most homeowners don’t know what a lateral sewer line is.
At the start of the study, most homeowners didn’t know what a lateral sewer line is, where it is located or that it’s their responsibility to maintain it.
2.Homeowners assume lateral sewer line inspections are included in standard home inspections.
3.Issues with a lateral sewer line are something prospective homebuyers want to know about.
Learning that a damaged line could result in a very costly repair increased participants’ interest in having the sewer line inspected before purchasing a home.
4.Home inspectors are viewed as a trusted resource for homeowners.
Home inspectors were viewed very positively by the homeowners and homebuyers in the discussion group because they are thought to be objective, unbiased sources of information and expertise. Participants said they would be most likely to trust a home inspector’s recommendation to get a lateral sewer line inspection (compared to other relevant experts).
What can you do as a home inspector?
As a trusted expert resource for prospective home buyers, home inspectors have a unique and important role to play in encouraging the update of outdated and damaged lateral sewer lines. Here are a few things you can do:
- Provide camera scoping as an add-on service for potential buyers of older homes. This could either be through partnerships with contractors who offer scoping services or investment in the equipment to perform the inspections yourself. This would not only increase client satisfaction by making them feel more confident in their home buying process, but will also allow for an opportunity to make additional profit through the new service.
- Provide information to clients about rebate programs for scoping inspections if or when they are offered. As part of municipalities’ efforts to encourage lateral line inspections, some are considering offering a rebate to offset the cost of inspections and/or replacements.
Work with realtors to create a checklist for “vintage” home buyers so prospective buyers are made aware about special considerations they should know about when buying an older home, including scoping of the lateral sewer line.