When Should Termite Work Be Done?

Termite work is a generic term. It refers to repair work done in a home to correct infestation or damage from wood pest organisms such as dry rot, fungus, termites (of which there are various kinds), wood-boring beetles and carpenter ants, to name a few.

Typically, buyers have homes inspected before they buy so that they are well-informed about the condition of the property. Of the many inspections a buyer might order, a "termite" report is a virtual certainty.

Local custom usually dictates who pays to correct wood pest damage during the course of a home sale. Sellers often pay to repair damage and infestation that developed during their period of ownership. Buyers usually take responsibility for items called in a report that are not active problems but that could become a problem in the future, like a tub that needs caulking.

Home sellers are wise to order a termite inspection report before they market their home. In areas where sellers pay to correct termite repairs, a pre-sale report lets sellers know how much they can expect to pay. It also provides information to the buyers that they will certainly want before purchasing the home.

First Time Tip: Select a termite inspector the same way you would any contractor. Ask several people who recently had termite work done if they would use the inspector again. If you had your home inspected fairly recently consider using the same contractor, unless you had a bad experience.In some states, termite inspectors don't contract to do repair work. In other states, most structural pest control companies do both the inspecting and the repair work. If you're using the same company to do the inspection and the work, be sure to talk to several people who had work done by the company.

A good inspector might not have the best work crews. In this case, you might want to use one company to do the inspection and another to do the repair work. If you're having trouble getting good recommendations, ask an experienced local real estate agent.

Make sure to use a termite company that specializes in your area. "Termite" problems tend to vary from one area to the next. So you should rely on a pest control contractor who is an expert in your location.Sellers who are not planning on selling immediately should consider having termite repairs completed before they market their home for sale. Sometimes completing the termite repairs in advance will have the added benefit of improving the home's appearance -- if a deck is rotted or a bathroom linoleum floor is shot. The house will show better and you'll have a clean bill of health from the termite company to pass along to the buyers.

Sellers who have a presale inspection done just before listing their home for sale usually wait until the home sells to have the work done. Homes don't show at their best while work is in progress. Also, some buyers would prefer to take a monetary credit at closing for the termite repairs and complete the work themselves after closing.

The buyer's lender may require a notice of completion from the termite company indicating that the property is free of any active infestation or damage. If this is the case, the termite work can be done after a buyer for the home is found but before the sale closes.

The Closing: Homeowners are advised to have termite inspections completed every couple of years. Periodic repairs should be completed so that minor problems don't turn into major defects.

by Dian Hymer