Termites cause billions of dollars in structural damage every year causing property owners to spend over two billion dollars to fix the problem. Unfortunately, termites live in every state except Alaska where it’s too cold for them.
There are at least 2,000 known termite species. It’s also possible for you to have no idea you have a termite problem.
Not knowing of a termite issue can be problematic, especially if you’re trying to sell your home. If you realize you have termites in your house you’re trying to sell, you do have options.
We want to help you make the right decision. Keep reading to learn what you can do when you’re selling a house with termite history.
How to Spot Signs of Termite House Damage
Termite damage isn’t always easy to spot. You may see evidence of the termites before you discover the damage they’ve done.
Swarmers or Discarded Wings
During springtime, you may find wings or even small bodies in your home near windows or doors.
Subterranean termites build mud tubes for moisture as they travel between their colony and food source.
You may spot mud tubes near your home’s foundation.
Termites like to eat their wood from the inside out.
If you find blistering pieces of wood or wood that sounds hollow when you tap on it, there’s a good chance you have an infestation.
Bubbling or Uneven Paint
Bubbling or uneven paint usually means you have moisture build-up. That means you have water damage or a termite infestation.
Either way, it’s not good and you should immediately address the issue.
You may have an infestation of drywood termites if you notice wood-colored droppings that they leave behind as they eat through infested wood.
The droppings are a small pile that closely resembles pellets. Drywood termites leave them both inside and outside of the home.
Call in Professionals to Get Rid of the Termites in Your House
Your first step is to contact a professional exterminator or pest control company to assess the situation and help you deal with the infestation. Not doing anything will simply make the problem worse and will make it harder, if not impossible to sell your home.
If you’re worried about having pesticides sprayed in and around your home, find an exterminator who uses non-toxic chemicals and green pest control techniques.
Keep any records of treatment plans. If you get a warranty from your pest control company, verify you can transfer the warranty and treatment plan to the new buyer.
Just because you’re termite-free doesn’t mean that they can’t come back again. Make sure your exterminator puts preventative measures in place to ensure they can’t get back into your house and cause even more structural damage.
Ask for the exterminator to install mesh screenings on external vents. Fix and cracks and holes you see. And get your house treated for subterranean termites.
You Must Legally Disclose Termite Damage
Keep in mind, you are required by law to disclose any termite activity or damage you’re aware of. You’ll need to fill out a standard seller’s disclosure form and provide it to potential buyers.
Failure to disclose this information can result in legal action. And you’ll have to provide potential buyers with that form even if the problem has been fixed.
Decide Whether to Fix the Problem or Sell As-Is
Is it hard to sell a house that has had termite damage? It depends on the extent of the damage and your own financial situation.
Once the termite situation has been fixed, you should contact a licensed contractor to inspect the extent of the damage.
Based on that information, you can then decide if you want to invest money to fix the problem or sell your home as-is.
What to do if You Choose to Fix the Termite Damage
If you can afford it, have the contractor fix any damage the termites left behind. Pricing can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars depending on the extent of the damage.
Once the repairs have been made, get a second termite inspection done.
Common Repairs After a Termite Infestation
A contractor may have to fix one or all of the following in your home:
- Replace the drywall
- Repair the framing in your home
- Reinstall insulation in your attic and/or crawl spaces
- Repair and clean small spaces at the root of the infestation
You’ll receive a written report that provides you with proof that your home is now termite-free. The inspection to receive this report should be around $200.
Your Options When Selling Your Home As-Is
If the estimate is too much money, you can opt to sell your home as-is.
However, you’ll also have to reduce your asking price to reflect the amount of money a new buyer will have to spend to fix any termite-related repairs. It will also most likely take much longer to find a buyer willing to buy a termite-damaged home.
Sell to a Cash Investor
If you don’t have the funds, don’t have the time to wait for a buyer or don’t want to make the repairs, you have a third option. You can also sell your home to an investor as-is for cash.
You won’t receive as much money as you would if you fixed up your home, but you’ll get a fair price considering the condition of your home. Cash investors also won’t care if there are other issues with your home.
You’ll also be able to sell it much more quickly than you would if you put it on the market.
We’d Love to Make You an Offer
There are many other situations besides having termites in your house that makes getting a quick cash offer on your home the ideal choice. We know home sellers don’t want to have their homes sit on the market for months with no potential buyers.