Repair verification inspections as part of a buyers due diligence


If the seller has agreed to have some items fixed that were found during the initial home inspection, I always recommend double-checking any reported repairs by having your inspector perform a repair verification inspection as part of your due diligence process. You are required to perform your due diligence and the phrase “trust but verify” certainly applies here, especially if it was an expensive fix or a safety-related item. I have found on a few occasions some things that were not repaired properly, and sometimes the seller isn’t even aware of that fact.

What is a repair verification inspection

A repair verification inspection entails a second visit to the property by your inspector to assess the condition of items that the seller has agreed to have fixed. Your inspector will compare what he/she sees after the repair to what was present at the first inspection and then determine if the defect has been properly resolved.

After your home inspection has been completed and the report published, you will need to get together with your real estate agent and decide how you want to proceed. I strongly advise following your agent’s recommendations here, they are the experts when it comes to this stuff and they have your best interest in mind.


What should I have double-checked

After work has been completed, some items that need to be verified are mold remediation, sewer repairs, and electrical repairs, among others. Suppose mold was found during the initial inspection and subsequently remediated by a mold remediation contractor. In that case,  you must have the affected area tested again for the presence of mold to verify the effectiveness of the treatment. Two more big-ticket items that you will want to have verified are sewer line repairs and electrical work. Both often require special equipment to be used like a sewer scope camera or electrical outlet testers in order to inspect any repairs properly. 

A Sewer Scope Inspection inspects the sewer line that is between the home and the city main line under the street. A special camera system that uses a waterproof camera on the end of a long flexible fiber optic cable is fed through the line from an accessible cleanout location to determine the pipe material type and locate any problems with the line. Our sewer scope inspection report will contain a video of the inside of the sewer line as well as still images showing any damage that was found. If any damage is found we can determine its location and depth by using a locator that is designed to find the camera head inside the line.



What can a Sewer Scope Inspection find?

When I’m inspecting a sewer lateral line I’m looking at the inside of the line for any serious issues like cracks, breaks, clogs, defective pipe connections that could cause leaks, and roots that have found their way inside the line. I find cracks and roots to be the two most common issues while inspecting sewer lines in Orange County and L.A. County. Both are repairable by a qualified plumber either by digging up the problem area and replacing the line or by using a trenchless repair method. Commonly, the older vitrified clay lines have the most issues since they are brittle and have had decades of use. Having a sewer scope inspection performed is equally important when buying a new home as it is when buying an older home. It’s not just the decades-old homes that can have significant sewer problems, Occasionally brand new homes have issues as well. Improper bedding, crushed lines from careless installation, and construction debris are all defects that could be found at a newly constructed home.



Your sewer system requires maintenance too.

Like the rest of the home, your drain and sewer system require regular periodic maintenance; typically, this would consist of either a hydro-jet cleaning, which is a high-pressure wash of the inside of the line, or cleaning using rotating cutting blades. The type of line material will determine which cleaning method the plumber will use so as not to cause any undue damage to the line. Having your sewer system cleaned yearly will reduce the chances of having a serious backup by removing any invading root balls or problematic scale build-up from the pipe walls.


The benefit of a sewer scope inspection for a prospective homeowner is almost unmeasurable. Generally, there will be one of two outcomes from a sewer inspection. Either you will discover some issues that will empower you to make the appropriate decisions on how to move forward with your transaction and possibly start planning for repairs or, you will receive the peace of mind in knowing that you won’t have to stress over the possibility of a sewer problem if the inspection doesn’t reveal any significant problems. Honestly, I feel you can’t afford not to know the condition of your sewer line, considering how important it is to the functionality of your home.

What to expect at your home inspection

Congratulations, you’ve just scheduled a home inspection! If you are reading this because you have chosen me as your home inspector, I’d like to thank you for the opportunity to serve you. The home inspection is just one step of many in the escrow process, but it’s a critical one! Chances are you only saw the property for a short time during a showing, perhaps even through a virtual showing. Because of this, I urge you to be present for the entire inspection; this will allow you ample time to see what you are purchasing.

How to prepare for your home inspection

As your home inspector, I’m here to answer all of your questions you may have about your new investment. I recommend you take some time to write down any questions or concerns you may have beforehand so you don’t forget to ask while we are at the property. I’d like you to bring a pen and notepad to record any pertinent information that may come up as well as a tape measure to check for furniture clearances or maybe even remodeling ideas.


What to expect during our consultation

Our inspections typically take two and a half to three hours depending on size and property condition and cover everything from the roof to the foundation and everything in between. I’ll make a note of any issues I discover, whether they are significant problems or minor defects that could lead to bigger issues down the road. I’m here for you, so if you have any questions, please feel free to let me know and we can go over any concerns you have. I write my reports as I perform the inspection and also photograph all notable items as I go to ensure a timely report delivery, typically the same day. Our appointment will end with an In-person summary and Q&A session of everything I noted as a concern. I will go over the locations of major system components, shut-off valves and switches, along with recommended home maintenance tasks.


What to do after your home inspection

When you receive the report through your client portal, I urge you to read it in it’s entirety and go over it with your real estate agent to determine your next steps. Your agent is on your side and will guide you through the rest of the home buying process. If down the road you have any questions about the property or the information contained in the report, don’t hesitate to reach out, our relationship doesn’t end at the inspection.


In short, a home inspection is a visual inspection of the major systems and components of a residential building. Most home inspections are utilized by the buyer in a real estate transaction. Home inspections can also be used by the home owner before listing their house for sale.
Home inspectors look for problems with the home and situations that may become a problem in the future — like damaged roof shingles, faulty electrical receptacles, and potentially costly plumbing leaks. All the defects the inspector sees are documented in a report along with information about the home and it’s installed systems. The inspector will list the problem that was identified, provide a picture or video of the issue, include a possible resolution, or a recommendation of the type of contractor the client should contact to have it fixed.

You should choose a home inspector that is certified (or licensed if your state has licensure requirements). The two largest Home inspector associations are interNACHI and ASHI. Both have standards of practices that their members must adhere to with every inspection they perform.

Be prepared to be at the home for at least a couple hours. A good thorough home inspection should take about three hours for an average sized single family home. Your home inspector will look at the building from the roof to the foundation and everything in between, so now is the time to ask any questions you may have.

You should expect to pay somewhere around $300.00 to $500.00 for a residential home inspection. Variables that could affect the cost would be square footage, local market, and of course demand.

If you have any questions about home inspections or the inspection process feel free to leave a comment!