Don’t Let the Termites Bite

One of the major worries of a home buyer in the market is the little insects that can topple an entire building – termites. These days, most real estate contracts come with a termite inspection clause written as a contingency to the sale. The clause says that the house be inspected by a professional exterminator and the seller ensure that the property is free from termites. Furthermore, the seller is responsible for getting rid of the termites completely and repair the damage caused as a result. All these actions must be completed before the house closing. If the seller doesn’t cooperate, the deal will fail, and any deposit paid by the buyer should be refunded.

Most homeowners, especially sharing their walls with neighbors, sign up for termite contract. And most by-laws require them to have such a contract active so that a yearly checkup conducted concludes whether or not the building is infected. For single family homeowners, this need only arises when they buy or sell their house. However, the twitch is there, the embarrassment that the inspector might find termites hidden somewhere in the basement still lingers. To avoid such a situation, they can always do a little self-inspection by using a pocket knife to poke the support beams near the foundation walls. If the knife sinks easily into the wood, the house might be in danger. Also, if you find mud tunnels close to the perimeter of the house, those tunnels might be where the termites are getting in and out of the house. Know that you can find out more about self-inspection from your city department.

If you suspect the presence of termites, the best thing to do is call professional exterminator immediately. If the infestation is confirmed, have it eliminated before the house goes up for sale. Whether you sell the house now or in the future, chances are you would have to pay for termite extermination either way. The early discovery and elimination will bring the much-needed relief. Otherwise, if it is discovered at the last moment as a contingency to the sale, the deal could fall apart. Make sure to obtain adequate warranty for the service. This can be a positive point when you are negotiating sale price with potential buyers.

Buyers are nervous about big things as well as small things when they are house shopping. And a major issue like termites will put them into thinking that the house is not well maintained. The structure of the house counts a lot because most buyers do not want to cope with someone else’s problems. If the house is structurally sound, only then they will divert their mind to focusing on minor details like cleanliness and decor. A termite inspection and complete report on the same will help reassure them that their house is safe and livable. The relieved buyer will know exactly what is going on in the place not only from outside but behind the walls as well. The report therefore needs to be detailed. Every question that the buyer has needs to be answered as well.