While termites may be small in size, they can pose a significant threat to your home.
Termites represent a persistent issue that may inflict considerable damage to the integrity of a residential dwelling. They have the ability to damage a home’s foundation, walls, ceilings, and doors – essentially anything they come into contact with. Regrettably, it is impossible to avoid these creatures unless one resides in Alaska. Homeowners across the states are plagued by termites, with those living in warmer climates being particularly vulnerable.
Dealing with termites can be a major problem for homeowners, especially those looking to sell their property. However, there are still solutions available for sellers, such as contacting a real estate agent, to consider.
If unwanted bugs have made your house their home, or if termites have caused damage in the past, don’t worry. You can still sell your property.
Our guide includes information to identify pests and how to get rid of them. Additionally, we provide tips for home repairs and two successful methods to sell a home with termite issues.
Is it hard to sell a house that has had termites?
Annually, termites are responsible for causing damage in the US. The National Pest Management Association approximates that the damage caused by termites is significant.
Termites are a common issue in South Florida homes, with almost every household showing past indicators or current signs of infestation.
There are two primary choices available for homeowners when selling a house that has or had termites:
- Get your home ready for sale by repairing any termite damage and be open about any property issues. Additionally you should publicly list the home for sale, and consider offering a guarantee with the sale.
- You can sell your home “as is” to a cash buyer and avoid repairs, showings, and listings.
Various factors, including the severity of termite infestation and the amount of property damage, can influence the best method for selling. In order to gain a better understanding, let’s explore the initial option in more detail.
Option 1: Putting up your house for sale in the open market despite having termite damage.
If there is minor termite damage, it is possible to sell the house like any other property. This implies pricing it at the full market value.
As a seller, you can take five steps to alleviate buyers’ concerns regarding termite damage. Since “termite damage” is likely a phrase that may sound alarming to them.
Purchase a pest inspection
Before you sell your house, it’s recommended that you hire a general property surveyor and a pest inspector. They will be able to assess your entire property. A well-trained pest inspector can check your entire property for pests, making it easier to sell your home.
To avoid the buyer discovering any problems after the contract has been negotiated, it’s best to identify these issues beforehand.
After the inspection, you’ll receive a report with instructions for addressing and preventing any future pest issues as a homeowner. If your wondering what to do if you fail a termite inspection, check out our blog “What Should You Do If You Fail Your Termite Inspection?”.
Share any known concerns or problems, regardless of legal obligations.
Different states have different laws regarding what information sellers must legally provide to potential buyers. To comply with disclosure laws and avoid legal issues, it’s important to disclose any information about important defects. This includes both either past or present termite activity. Disclosing termites is crucial in establishing trust and maintaining it from the beginning, which is always the best practice.
Honesty with buyers is key to building and keeping trust, and it’s best to start this practice early on. During a home inspection, a buyer is likely to discover any infestations or other problem areas in the house.
Attempting to conceal termite problems is ultimately not worthwhile.
Address any necessary repairs prior to putting your home up for sale
Termites damage the wood in your home, causing severe damage to the point where it becomes weak and unstable.
Fortunately, this is not a common occurrence. The National Pest Management Association says that it’s possible for termites to cause irreversible damage to a home, but it’s rare. This only occurs if the infestation is left untreated for several years.
If homeowners are caught in the first year, they may only have to pay for extermination costs.
The cost of exterminating pests in a home can vary, usually ranging from $230 to $930. For most homeowners, the cost averages at around $575. The total cost of treatment will vary based on factors such as the house size, treatment type, and frequency of treatments.
A pest control expert may choose to fumigate your property if they determine an extensive level of treatment is required. This option is more expensive and can cost around $2,500.
To fix the damaged wood in your home caused by infestation, there are two options available.
- Replace the wood entirely, and earn extra credit if it’s substituted with a new material.
- Purchasing used support boards can be a more affordable way to reinforce damaged wood.
Additional steps may be required if your property has sustained significant structural damage.
Fixing the framework of your house.
You should consider reinstalling the insulation in areas such as the attic and crawl spaces.
To effectively address heavily infested areas, prioritize cleaning and repairing smaller spaces. By doing so, you can effectively address the problem and prevent it from spreading to other areas.
If you want to update the walls of your house, you might need to replace the drywall.
If your property has minor termite damage, you can often repair it on your own. However, for more extensive destruction caused by termites, it is recommended to seek the help of a professional termite repair specialist.
Mud tubes running along the wooden parts of your house might mean that you have unwelcome guests living with you. This can be harmful to your property’s structure as they will consume it.
The cost of repairing damages could vary between $500 to $6,000, depending on the extent of the damage.
Detecting termites early can help prevent costly repairs in the future. Follow the tips below to identify and locate termites before they cause irreversible damage.
Provide a guarantee to potential buyers
When you have termite damage repaired and treated in your home, a warranty is usually included. This warranty can be transferred to the buyer when the house is sold.
This warranty guarantees that the home has been maintained well. Additionally, that past termite issues have been addressed, giving buyers peace of mind. This can make the sales process smoother by noting any prior termite problems and still emphasizing the property’s good condition.
Negotiate the price as necessary
To make your home more appealing, it’s important to have a termite warranty and evidence of treatment. It’s also important to make any necessary repairs.
Buyers could attempt to bargain the price according to the level of damage caused by termites. However, it’s uncommon for buyers to completely reject a property based solely on termite infestation.
When you buy something, the warranty and treatment may have a value similar to the purchase price.
Informing potential buyers about a small termite problem or easily fixable damage may not ruin the sale. Providing detailed records of the problem and repairs made can show that you are a responsible seller. This can offer peace of mind to buyers.
Option 2: Consider selling your termite-damaged house ‘as is’ to a cash buyerP
If removing termites and financing repairs is too expensive, selling to a cash buyer may be an option.
If you plan to sell a home “as is,” it’s essential to take the following three factors into account:
Skip repairs, staging, and showings
If you sell your home “as is” to a cash buyer, you usually won’t have to worry about making any repairs.
Since there won’t be an open house, there will be no need for cleaning, yard work, or getting the house ready.
Homebuyers who are interested in purchasing a house before it becomes officially marketed find as-is properties particularly attractive.
If you sell your home “as is”, you must disclose any hidden issues with the property. This is true even if they are not immediately visible.
Termites may not be immediately visible but can impact a property’s value and must be disclosed.
Make sure to communicate to potential buyers that you plan to skip fixing any issues with the property. However, it’s important to note that most buyers will still want a standard home inspection done. Depending on the results of the initial inspection, a specialized pest inspection may also be necessary for a more thorough evaluation.
Be prepared to take a price discount
Selling your house “as is” due to termite damage without repairing it may result in a reduced sale price.
Buyers who purchase a home “as is” often need to account for additional costs to prepare the property for resale. This may include repairs, renovations, or exterminations, as is the case here.
FAQ: Common questions home sellers have about termite damage
Selling a house with a prevalent termite problem can be challenging. An advisable option would be to sell the property in its current condition without making any alterations or repairs. Most potential home buyers are unwilling to bear the cost of both exterminating the termites and repairing the damage.
Many homeowners do not consider a property that has had a termite problem before to be a major issue. The crucial factor is how the previous owners dealt with it. If potential buyers see that infestations have been handled well, they will be more likely to buy the home.
The extent of the damage plays a crucial role in determining the next steps for a first-time homeowner. For instance, a homeowner may be concerned about potential risks and therefore seek reassurance on the condition of the property. Negotiating the contract may include specific terms, like providing termite treatment, conducting necessary repairs, or offering a sale discount. The keyword “termite treatment” is still present in the updated content.
Termites can damage a property, but it may not deter investors if the damage isn’t making the house unstable.
If your home has been damaged by termites, it can have a negative impact on its appraisal value. Certain experts even suggest that it could decrease the potential sale price of your home.
To get a better understanding of your termite issue, it’s recommended to talk to a professional termite inspector.
When the inspector identifies property damage, proceed with caution. Prioritize termite removal before making any repairs to the affected area. Once the termites are fully eliminated, focus on making repairs to the damaged property.
If you have termite damage, it’s best to get help from a trained and licensed professional. A professional termite inspection can determine the severity of the damage. Afterward, a professional can advise you on how to proceed with repairs.
One of the signs of termites is the appearance of wings or small bodies in your home. This can be most apparent during their spring reproductive season. Luckily, termites can often be detected before they cause significant damage to your home.
Additional indicators are:
- Paint that is coming off or flaking is referred to as peeling paint.
- The floor tiles are not firmly attached.
- If your floors feel swollen or make extra noise, it may be a sign of underlying issues.
- When a group of termites leaves to start a new colony, they shed their wings. These wings are left behind as remnants of their journey.
- The fecal matter that appears similar to sawdust, coffee grounds, salt crystals, or peppercorns.
- Your floorboards, furniture, or walls might have labyrinthine patterns.
- Wood that is damaged and buckling, as well as drywall that has small holes are both common issues. Additionally, crumbling wood is also a common problem that can occur in certain cases.
- Mud tubes, approximately the size of a pencil, advancing upward.
- Swarming termites in or around your property may indicate a concerning termite presence.
- Wood that exhibits a hollow sound or displays signs of damage and decay.
Bottom line: You have options when selling a house with termite damage
Termite problems are not uncommon in houses and can cause significant damage.
To determine the best selling option for your termite damaged house, follow these steps:
- Get a professional in your area to check your house.
- To know the precise amount you need to pay for the elimination and fixing of your house, obtain a definite quote.
- Before you sell your house, make sure you can afford to pay for any necessary treatment or repairs.
- If your home has significant termite damage, you may want to consider selling it “as is” to a cash buyer who provides a cash offer. This could be a good option for you, especially if you’re looking for a cash offer for your home.
When selling a house with termite damage, the best course of action depends on your unique situation and selling goals. For those wanting a fast sale, selling the house “as is” may be the most suitable choice. But, if you found the damage early, investing in treatment and repairs often results in a favorable return on investment.