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The AmeriFirst Home Buyer Learning Center

Termites & Real Estate: Life After Infestation

Posted by AmeriFirst Marketing on Mon, May 15, 2017

This is an article submitted by a guest author. Not all views expressed are those of AmeriFirst Home Mortgage or its employees. 

You’re selling your home, arranging inspections and final preparations, when you see the things that make you sweat in horror: wings scattered on the ground, tiny holes near your home’s foundation or mud tubes crawling up the wall of your crawl space or basement.  

Shoot, you think, I have termites. 

If you see these signs you might have a problem, but don’t worry - it isn’t the end of the world! We’ll explain.

Termites-Real Estate-Life-After-Infestation.jpg

First you should enlist help from a pest control professional to assess any damage and offer a course of treatment.  If the damage appears to be structural you will need to get in touch with a contractor who specializes in structural repair.

Treating termites isn’t as bad as people think. Not every infestation requires tent fumigation. Consider that a termite infestation takes a very long time to get serious - an average-sized colony of 300,000 termites will eat about one cubic foot of wood in a year. It also takes several years just for a colony to reach this size. 

If you see evidence of an active termite infestation it is time to treat

When selecting an exterminator company, it’s important to do your homework. The company you choose should:

  • Be licensed by your state’s Department of Agriculture
  • Engage in continuing education and training
  • Use modern and/or advanced treatment methods and products
  • Be able to provide references from other customers or relevant sources

What the treatment process looks like

It helps to understand the treatment process which can be divided into two categories:

  • Liquids can be applied to protect your home, which work as a repellent.
  • Baits can be placed below ground level. The termites pick up that bait and bring it back to the nest.

The goal of any termite treatment program is to control the infestation and prevent future re-infestation.      

Will the sale value of my home be affected?

If you handle any needed repairs appropriately, the resale value of the home shouldn’t be significantly affected. You could choose to forego the necessary repairs, but do expect to receive lower bids. In any case, a seller is required by law to disclose a termite infestation, and any past infestations should be documented as well.

Obtaining a warranty

You can increase the likelihood of higher bids by obtaining a warranty from your pest control company following the treatment. This protects the next homeowner from paying future treatment costs. In most cases, any upcoming services under warranty are offered free of charge. This could cover the next owner for many years.

Installing preventative measures

You can instill further confidence in buyers by showing all of the ways you’ve safeguarded your home from future infestations. Here are some of the things you can do yourself:

  • Fix plumbing and roofing leaks and ventilate moist or damp areas such as attics and crawl spaces
  • Remove firewood, lumber, mulch, or debris from anywhere near the foundation of your home
  • Clear plants and vegetation away from the foundation of your home
  • Install tight mesh screens over any accessible air vents

Remember, termites can be treated

As long as you address a potential termite infestation, it will not be a death sentence to the sales process - it’s merely a hiccup. By treating it properly and obtaining appropriate warranties, you can assure your potential buyers and yourself that the issue has been handled. 

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Author Bio: Sara Thompson is a home and lifestyle blogger in Portland, Oregon. This article was written with help from the pest control experts at The Bug Man. For more pest control tips, visit their blog.

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Topics: homeowner information, AmeriFirst guest blog

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