Often times a seller may decide to list the home but wait until they have an offer before spending the money to get the Title V certificate. A buyer's agent who assists you in writing an offer should include an addendum that requires the seller provide a passing Title V certificate by a certain date prior to settlement.
You are able to purchase a home with a failed Title 5 with a renovation loan which enables you to replace or repair the system after you close. Properties with failed systems can be a great opportunity for buyers. FHA Renovation loans aka FHA 203k loans will allow you to putchase a home a fix it up with one low cost fixed rate loan. I have closed 36 of these type loans this year. Its a great way to build instant equity.
Many home sellers in Plymouth are either banks, who have just acquired the property through foreclosure, or short sale sellers who may lack the availability of funds to have the systems inspected. Plymouth is a very large town geographically and very diverse with respect to property values and home owner incomes. Last year there were areas in Plymouth where as much as 65% of the properties sold were either short sales or foreclosures. Other areas were substantially less.