Agents, termites can hold escrow from closing!
Whether representing the sellers or buyers, get a termite inspection as soon as possible!
Make sure to have a termite inspection done before getting any offers. Buyers nowadays will ask for a termite report before making any offer. Be prepared to have termite treatment/repairs in your budget. You don’t want any surprises that will keep your escrow from closing.
Always ask for a termite report when representing your clients. Keep in mind, sellers will try to avoid a termite inspection since they have to spend money in treatments or repairs. Protect your reputation by keeping your client from a buying a home filled with termite and termite damage; which, can cost them greatly in the future. Remember, termites live in the soil, rooftops and in between walls, practically unseen unless by a trained technician.
What We Look For During Our Inspection
Section 1 Items - Termite Evidence - This can be either termite activity or termite wood damage
This is the poop of the termites. It may be confused for sand or sawdust, but once cleaned up, it will come back again. A brighter color pellete means it is recent activity. A darker color, dark brown, means it is old activity. If no treatment has been permformed, the darker color pelletes also mean the termites have move on from that location and are further in the structure, causing greater damage.
These tubes are made by subterranean termites. Both termites leave pelletes, but unlike drywood termites, subterranean termites live in the soil, and create tubes, a mixture of dirt and their saliva, to travel from the wood to their home. These tubes create protection for the colony from predators and sunlight. Even though much of the activity is found in the subarea, there has been cases where the evidence have been found in attics. Those cases have heavy infestation of subterranean termites. An immediate treatment is recommended, as well as hiring a contractor to asses the full extent of the damage of the structure.
At a glance, much of the damage is unseen. Since termites are sensitive to the sun, they tend to work in the middle of the wood, keeping the exterior intact. Another reason, many homeowners do not crawl underneath the home or in the attic with the intent to look for damage, which causes termite damage to be overseen. But when a trained inspector looks for damage, they poke at all major wood components to wood damage. This damage can be from termites or dry rot. Either case, it is important to repair wood damage to keep the structure intact and avoid costlier repairs in the future
Alates, or swarmers, are the potential king or queen of a new colony. These are the termites with wings, that fly out to form a new colony. Once they find a place they want to settle, along with a mate, they shed their wings and start the process of a new colony.
Is wood destroying fungus that can compromise the integrity of the wood. This can develop when there is moisture with low ventilation. Dry-rot should be taken seriously since it can spread quickly, either further along the wood member or to neighboring wood members. Overtime, the wood is compromised and can result in costly repairs.
Is a wood destroying fungus that can also compromise the integrity of the wood. This fungus develops when there is high amounts of moisture such as plumbing leaks or room leaks. The fungus is quite noticeable in wood members. It may take some time to cause some real damage, but it is still important to repair the damaged wood and the cause of the leak as well as treating the fungus to prevent it from spreading.
This goes hand and hand with wet-rot. In almost all cases, if there is wet-rot there is also fungus. To keep it from spreading, scraping off the fungus and discarding is necessary as well as treating the area. Fungus can be found in low ventilated areas, mainly in subareas and attics, but also underneath the sink cabinets.
Any paper, wood, cardboard rakeable size or larger underneath the structure that is currently infested by termites yet is considered cellulous debris. This could be debris that was left behind when any repairs were done. This item is considered section 1 when there is a current infestation of termites in them. The way to correct this item is by removing all debris from under the house and tropically treat the area.
Section 2 Items - Conditions That Can Lead to Future Infestation
When there is soil underneath the property, and the structure is in direct contact with the ground, this is called Earth-to-Wood contact. This creates easy access for subterranean termites. Whether it be wood sidings, door frames, stair case, etc, they should be 6 in. above ground level, or they are vulnerable to subterranean. Since the structure is touching the soil, the subterranean do not need to create mud tubes for protection, rather they can directly travel from the wood and back to the colony quickly and easily. The way to correct this is by digging soil, or mulch, back from the foundation, adding concrete bases, etc. Annual inspections are recommended if this condition can not be corrected.
Any paper, wood, cardboard rakeable size or larger underneath the structure that is not infested by termites yet is considered cellulose debris. This could be debris that was left behind when any repairs were done. This item is considered section 2 when there is not an current infestation of termites in them, but definitely can lead to one in the future. The way to correct this item is by removing all debris from under the house.
All leaks are considered section 2 in a termite report since it is not considered wood destroying organisms. It is important to hire a properly trained inspectors who should check for shower leaks by turning on the shower for 10 min and checking the subarea – many companies have skipped this step. In addition, inspectors should inspect the attic for leaks and water steins in the ceilings. The recommendation to fix these items will be to hire a licensed contractor to repair such leaks.
Section 2 items will be also included in a WDO Termite Report
We Provide WDO Termite Reports
Wood destroying organism (WDO) Termite reports are provided for every property in escrow. This report includes more than just termite evidence, it also includes any wood destroying pest or any conditions that can lead to a future infestation. This report are at times required by VA (Veteran Administration) loans or FHA (Federal Home Administration.)
Pest Control in a Real Estate Transaction
Pests, such as cockroaches, rodents, spiders, ants, bees, any pest other than wood destroying insects are of no concern in a real estate transaction, in California at least. But there may be cases of heavy infestation. If so, who pays? Since other pests are not enforced to be treated in an escrow transaction, the seller can pay in order to be in good standing, but it is not necessary for them to do so. If the buyer has a sincere interest in the property, then they can pay for the treatment. In some cases, real estate agents may pay for the pest treatment to keep their clients happy. At My Termite Company, we help our real estate clients by offering them a lower price on pest control to offer as a gift to their clients. We keep our agents happy and their clients.
Agents, broker, would a termite class benefit your office?
- Why it is important for an agent to get a termite inspection
- How termite and termite damage looks like (pictures and videos)
- Section 2 items that some loans require
This class will help all agents be better prepared for buying or selling a home, with knowledge they can pass on to their clients to seem well informed of the industry.
This is a FREE 15 – 20 min PowerPoint presentation. We visit your office, any day and time during the week, and provides digital flyer to inform the office of the class. In addition, we provide free marketing materials for agents if they hire us for their listing, as well as sponsorship for the office! Mention us to your broker to schedule us for your next office meeting!
Want to find out more? Give us a call!