So, the home inspection is complete, and so is the termite (aka wood destroying insect) inspection. You’ve got the results and now you see it — “visible evidence of wood destroying insects was observed as follows…” What do you do?
First, don’t panic. We’ve put together this blog to give you the basics! Read on to learn more about just how to respond when active termites or termite damage is found during an inspection.
Ask The Question
How much damage has been done? Termites are in essence a common nuisance for homeowners, and their presence does not always indicate that the structural integrity of the home has been affected. It’s important to get an assessment of the damage so you can know exactly how you want to proceed. Sometimes you might be able to negotiate with the seller, so it’s worth finding out.
It’s also important to note that not all wood with termite damage has to be replaced. If the structural integrity of the wood is sound, and active termites have been removed, then the wood can still have many years of useful life left. Some wood does need to be replaced if it’s incurred enough damage. Find a professional that will be honest with you about what really needs to be done.
Talk About Treatment
The next question is have the termites been treated? Termite damage could potentially be “old news.” If the seller can provide proof of recent treatment (such as an invoice with a pest company) then you might feel much more comfortable. After treatment, the damage found can serve as an indicator to keep the threat of termites in mind and maintain the home accordingly.
Most extermination companies will provide a subscription service where regularly scheduled check ups are made, and treatment performed if necessary. Here again, there may be wiggle room to negotiate with a property’s seller, based on whether treatment’s been performed or not.
Once you’ve got the lay of the land it’s time to decide on a strategy. That means communication, with the agent and buyer, as well as with the selling side. Timeliness and responsiveness can means you’ll get details quicker and assists in keeping negotiations smooth. They say knowledge is power, and knowing about termite damage is exactly that! Once you have the power, you just need to wield it effectively.
By Chris Earley
Chris Earley is the Owner and President of Liberty Inspection Group based in Media, Pennsylvania. Liberty was named one of the Philadelphia 100 in 2017 by the Wharton SBDC, making them one of the fastest growing businesses in the Philadelphia area. Chris’ company is a full-service inspection team providing commercial and residential inspections in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey.