Call for Action: 8 reasons to hate the Video Sewer Inspection Bill

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The state House could call a bill this week that would hit homeowners right in the wallet by requiring all of those in Illinois seeking to sell a home to first get a video inspection of their sewer system by a licensed plumber. Here’s why this is bad policy:

  1. If HB1376 passes, those selling a home will pay perhaps an additional $500 to have a video inspection done. Not only does the homeowner have to bear the cost of this mandate, but the cost of the inspection will undoubtedly be passed onto the buyer.
  2. Homeowners across the state are struggling to come up with the money to buy a house as Illinois lifts out of the recession. Adding yet another layer of costs to the home buying and selling process makes it more difficult for those who want to achieve the American Dream of homeownership to do so. In some cases, such as with short sales, this added cost can make the difference between a house getting sold and having a deal fall through.
  3. Where’s the evidence that there’s a need for this type of drastic regulation? Backers of the bill have yet to prove there’s a real need to force homeowners to get the video inspections.
  4. This bad bill would even apply to newer homes. Let’s say you want to sell a new home after having it a year. Under HB1376 you’d still have to get the inspection done, even though the likelihood there would be problems with the sewer line is minute. It doesn’t matter that just a year prior when the home was brand new it was inspected to make sure it met all applicable building codes. Under the proposal, a homeowners would still have to pay.
  5. Homebuyers should have a say in whether they want a costly inspection: Many homebuyers retain home inspectors to get the most information on their planned purchase. Why not give them the option to pay for the video work?
  6. A surge of video inspection demand would far outstrip the resources to get the jobs done in a timely manner. Under the proposal, HB1376 calls for plumbers to do the inspections. The problem is there are only so many plumbers in Illinois to do the work. The potential for delays in getting real estate deals closed will cost homebuyers and home sellers added stress and more money as a result.
  7. It opens the door for fraud: Unscrupulous practitioners could use this law as a means to make a quick buck at the expense of homeowners. Does Illinois really need to have to set up yet another regulatory structure to make sure these inspections are handled correctly? Isn’t there enough red tape in buying and selling in the state?
  8. HB1376 perpetuates the perception that Illinois is a costly place to live: In 2014 there were nearly 150,000 home sales. Multiply that number by the estimated $500 and you get a sense of what it might cost homeowners across the state.

Participate in IAR’s Call for Action on HB 1376! Contact your Representative today and ask them to vote NO on HB 1376.  Unnecessary and costly regulatory burdens such as this bill imposes depresses the housing market which is not good for Illinois.

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About Jon Broadbooks

Jon Broadbooks is Vice President/Communications for Illinois REALTORS®. He serves as editor of online and print content for the association's communications including the Illinois REALTOR® magazine and e-newsletters. He conducts spokesperson training seminars and oversees website development for the Association.

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