Real estate agents and homeowners: How to help you deal with termites and the damage they cause

Posted: May 17th, 2016 | Expert Advice | No Comments

By Jeff A. Mudd | Best-Rate Repair

Whether you discover termites or termite damage in a home you want to sell or buy, it will change the way you approach the buying or selling process. As a real estate agent, your client will depend on you for advice on how to deal with the termites in their home or how to offer on a home where termites and damage have been found.

Jeff A. Mudd | Best-Rate Repair

Jeff A. Mudd | Best-Rate Repair

Termites and wood damage in a home you are selling

If you find termites in a home, you will need to bring in a professional termite company like Best-Rate Repair & Termite to determine the extent of the damage and the procedure to eradicate the termites. If the wood damage and/or infestation is extensive, we would suggest that you as the seller get started right away on the repairs and any treatments required to close escrow, because once your home is on the market things can move very quickly. It is best to have the work done before you put the house on the market. Most termite companies suggest fumigation for complete eradication of termites. Having all wood repairs completed prior to a fumigation is a great way to ensure that all wood is treated for termites. This not only repairs the damaged areas but also allows the new wood to be treated and covered under any warranty the fumigation company may offer. Here at Best-Rate we offer a two year warranty on all fumigations. Once that two year warranty expires, the new homeowner will have the option to extend that warranty with our Termite Control Service program. This is an annual inspection to help protect the home from any new infestations. This often reassures the buyer that their investment will be protected for years to come.

Having obvious termite infestations and structural damage will not only negatively affect the asking price for your home, it could turn away prospective buyers altogether.

Termites and wood damage in a home your client is interested in buying

Make sure you know what type of loan you or your buyer will be acquiring, because most likely it will require the seller eliminate any wood destroying organism prior to the closing of escrow. If you fall in love with a home with an obvious infestation of termites and damaged wood, it is very important to make sure the work that needs to be completed is done correctly to help protect your investment.

When the seller is ready to contract a company to perform any treatment or repairs, it would be a good idea for you and or your client review the scope of work before any papers are signed. A seller trying to get out of a house is primarily motivated by cost rather than quality. The seller may hire a company that cuts corners or bring in someone who is less than an expert to eradicate any problem areas. Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself or your buyer and ask that the seller has an inspection completed by a company that you or your realtor have worked with before; that way you can be reassured that the work is being done to the standards in which they should be. If the seller’s realtor has a company that they regularly use, sit with your realtor and do the research on that company and/or even call the company and ask questions.

What needs to be completed to get a clearance on a property?

Unless you are selling or buying a home as is, in most cases the escrow company will require a clearance on the property prior to its closing. This would mean that all Section 1 items of the “Wood Destroying Organisms Report” would need to be eradicated/repaired prior to the closing of escrow. What is Section 1? Items noted in a pest inspection report where there is evidence of active infestation, infection or conditions that have resulted in or from infestation or infection (i.e. fungus, dry rot, etc.). Once the Section 1 items are all completed the termite company will then issue a clearance. Certification regarding termites, fungus and dry rot: stating that the property is described herein is free of evidence of active infestation or infection in the visible and accessible areas.

For escrow to close you do not have to have Section 2 items completed, but it is a good idea to have them taken care of at some point in the near future. This way they do not become Section 1 items. This is what classifies a Section 2: Items are noted in a pest inspection report where conditions noted are deemed likely to lead to infestation or infection but where no visible evidence of such was found.

We at Best-Rate Repair & Termite want to make this process as smooth as possible for all parties. When helping your client buy or sell a home we are the company for you. Please do not hesitate to call us with any questions or concerns. Call us today for your FREE inspection. 858-348-8547

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