How homeowners can prevent themselves from sewer line surprises when selling a house

Problem Solvers
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DENVER -- The metro area has miles of old sewer lines that could create an issue when you get ready to sell your home. Miles and miles of pipes can be affected by tree roots and erosion over time.

A local woman named Ashley told the Problem Solvers issues with her sewer line caused confusion when she placed her home on the market.

“We actually lost the buyer for the house," she said.

She says she had an inspection done two years ago but it didn’t reveal the entire length of the line, so when she tried to sell the home, a new inspection showed there were unexpected problems.

The FOX31 Problem solvers asked plumbing expert Jeff Watson of the “A Better Plumber” company about how homeowners can protect themselves from surprises that can ruin a home sale. He warns it is extremely important to “be proactive with these sorts of things that can cause a lot of property damage.”

Watson says the first step is to find a licensed plumber to perform your inspection and be aware that nine out of 10 inspection companies do not hold an active plumbing license.

Watson adds that homeowners should monitor the sewer camera video or take it to get another expert opinion.

"You are responsible for that line from your home all the way to the city connection, which is typically in the alley in Denver,” Watson said.

Watson advises homeowners to monitor the inspection.

"Any reputable company is going to start inside then work all the way out to the city main so you can see it’s been covered from start to finish," Watson said, adding, “You’ll be looking at a small pipe for about 120 feet then the camera will drop down into a bigger pipe where you’ll see a lot of running water.”

Getting an inspection done can cost less than $200.

The Problem Solvers also asked real estate expert Luca Baud about how homeowners can protect their investment.

He warns that those selling property should consult their agent before selecting an inspector.

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