At Ben’s Pest Control we provide many termite inspections for home buyers and mortgage companies. One of the things that amazes me is how people mentally move into homes prior to getting through the home inspection process. The major problem I see with this is that the house is not yours yet, nor do you know what’s wrong with the house. I call this the “test drive” philosophy. You feel ownership, so you don’t want to lose that. You want desperately to own a house, so you picture yourself in the house which can allow people to make bad decisions.
One of our clients/the buyer hired me last year to do a termite inspection. When I inspected the house, I found termites in multiple locations. I advised the buyer of the most effective way to proceed to protect the house that they were considering buying. In this situation, the buyer reported to the seller that they found termites in the house. The seller told the buyer they would take care of it. The seller would get it resolved and they would get the damage fixed. The buyer decided to allow the seller to take care of it themselves in the manner the seller deemed acceptable. The buyer went through with the purchase of the house without any knowledge of how the problem was addressed. On the day of closing, the buyer decided to ask them what had been done about the termites. The buyers were informed that the sellers spot treated the activity that was found. The buyer was not sure if he was comfortable with that, however they were outside of the allowed time to back out of the contract. The seller proceeded and closed on the house. Before they moved into the home, they decided to redo the bathrooms and the floors. They opened the walls in 2 out of the 3 bathrooms and found active termites. Needless to say, the spot treatment only addressed the specific spots and did nothing to address the termite issue for the house. The buyers had no choice but to hire a professional, in this case us, to treat the entire structure to protect their investment. Listening to the advice of a respected professional could have saved them the responsibility of having to treat the whole house.
I tell clients all the time, you are the buyer. It doesn’t mean the seller has to do what you request; they could walk away from the deal. If they do, they are now required to disclose termites to any future potential buyers. You have the right to demand if there is a problem that it be fix; and fixed appropriately so you don’t end up holding the bag on a major repair or major problem. Make sure to hire a qualified professional to do your termite inspection so you can trust what they tell you. Remember, this is possibly your biggest and most important investment.