The termite inspection process during an El Segundo offer and escrow is not always easy to understand, especially for a first time home buyer. There is uncertainty and confusion as to how it all works and the challenges it can present. Here a few tips to understand options:
- For home sellers – I always recommend getting a termite inspection prior to listing the home unless it is clear that the sale will be as is and no repairs will be done of any kind. Whether there is a lot of damage and recommended work, or nothing at all….it’s better to know up front.
- The challenge for home sellers is that when an offer comes in it often has a clause that contractually obligates the home seller to have an inspection and pay for any work that the termite company recommends. It becomes a real challenge for sellers as to whether to accept this clause due to the fact that without previously having in inspection done, sellers don’t know what they are agreeing to. They can try to negotiate this inspection or work out but it may not only be unnecessary (perhaps there isn’t much work needed) but may mean the difference in going into escrow or having the buyer walk away.
- The loan process and how it is impacted by the WPA (wood destroying pest addendum) – If a loan is part of the offer, as it usually is, and termite work is agreed upon, the lender will not loan until all of the work is completed and termite company issues a certificate of completion. This can get particularly challenging when fumigation is involved.
- Fumigation – If fumigation is needed, and originally agreed upon between buyer and seller, fumigation (tenting) would need to take place prior to close of escrow. This can be a real challenge as it takes a few days and home owners much be out of the house….all prior to closing escrow.
- Condos and townhomes – Any situation in which homes are attached to one another presents another problem. If the termite company recommends fumigation it is often impossible as it would involve displacing your neighbors…as well as the costs involved. This poses an additional challenge the buyers lender will want to see completion when fumigation isn’t possible. In addition condo complexes often have contracts with pest companies that handle exterior.
Whether you are a buyer or seller, make sure your realtor explains what is involved in the termite negotiation, agreement, and escrow process as it often has a number of challenges.