The discovery of termite damage can complicate an otherwise straightforward residential sales transaction. However, moderate termite activity and limited damage can be remedied with treatment and repairs, and the closing can proceed as scheduled.
If a termite inspector discovers termite activity or damage, you must first discuss the extent of the damage and decide on a course of treatment. Typically, the seller is responsible for termite treatment and repairs.
With traditional liquid termiticide treatment, a termite colony often can be controlled within a matter of days. Following the application and before closing the sale, have your termite inspector monitor for activity to determine the treatment’s effectiveness in controlling the colony.
With other treatment methods, termite control may take longer. For example, bait systems may take up to a year or longer to control a colony. Legal documents can be more complicated when slow-acting termite control methods are used. Some lenders may refuse to loan money for a home with an uncontrolled termite infestation.
Real Estate Termite Inspection Requirements
A certified termite report is not always required when purchasing a home. Your real estate agent or closing attorney can let you know if a termite letter is required by your state or lender.
Even it if is not required, it is important to get a termite inspection for real estate transactions. If termite activity is discovered after you purchase a home, you will have no recourse – and termite damage is rarely covered by homeowner’s insurance.