Prepping for a home sale is a huge undertaking. Hiring a real estate agent, preparing property to appeal to future buyers, and making sure all legal ducks are in a row is rarely an easy process.
Most homeowners are aware of inspection rules and requirements during the home sales process, but not all homeowners are familiar with termite inspections. As termites pose great threats in many regions of the state, it’s important to prepare before putting up a For Sale sign.
What Is a Termite Inspection?
A termite inspection is a form of home inspection that focuses specifically on signs of termite activity. While a general home inspector may keep an eye out for major indicators of an issue, a termite inspection is a far more detailed examination.
Termite inspectors will look for both obvious and subtle signs of wood-damaging insects, including:
- Evidence of mud tubes used by subterranean termite species
- Wood that is soft or sounds hollow when tapped
- Blistered spots on paint or wood
- Unexplained dark staining or spots on wood
- Presence of discarded termite wings and piles of droppings, which may look like sawdust from a distance
If an inspector notices any of these common indications of termite activity, they will present a treatment plan to address prior to listing a home. In almost all instances, termites will need to be addressed before a property can transfer ownership – and most buyers will be uninterested in buying a home with known termite damage.
How a Termite Inspection Can Halt a Home Sale
If you put your house up for sale without paying attention to potential termite problems, you may be just fine – or you may be facing a world of hurt.
Even if you don’t have termites, foregoing an inspection can waste time and money down the road. If you skipped getting a termite inspection but a prospective buyer wants one, for example, you may be forced to put the entire process on hold to bring in a professional.
Termite inspections themselves aren’t necessarily time consuming – most can be completed in a matter of hours – but scheduling time with an inspector can cause a delay. Further, if termite damage is found, addressing the problem can take days or even weeks, depending on the severity. Most of the time, termite damages aren’t covered in a homeowners’ insurance policy, which could mean a big, unwanted expense. This is especially true if the presence of termites means foundation issues that could threaten a home’s structural integrity.
Some buyers may be willing to wait for an exterminator to address a termite problem, particularly in a seller’s market when desirable properties are tight, but many won’t stick around. As such, a failure to inspect prior to listing a property can mean dragging out the process and driving potential buyers away.
Few homes can be truly termite-proof, but there are things you can do to prevent attracting termites while selling your home. Take precautions like:
- Keeping all firewood away from a home and, when possible, storing it in a contained area
- Ensuring all gutters are clean of leaves and other debris
- Removing stumps, logs, and downed trees and branches as soon as possible
- Checking for standing water in the home
- Addressing leaking pipes and other forms of water damage a quickly as possible
- Calling an exterminator at the first sign of a potential termite problem.
To avoid slowing down the home sale process, take care of a termite inspection now rather than waiting until it’s too late. By partnering with a qualified exterminator and evaluating problem areas thoroughly, you can be sure termites won’t destroy a great offer.
Dealing with termites is no walk in the park. If you believe you have termites in or around your home, Request a free termite inspection online, call us at 888-945-2847 or visit our contact page. All of our termite inspections are no obligation and 100% free!