What Sellers Need to Know About Pre-Home Sale Pest Inspections

Should you schedule a pest inspection before you list your home for sale? Even though a full pest inspection isn’t always a requirement for sellers (legal sales requirements vary by state), take a look at what you need to know about contracting this service before you begin the listing process.

Learn about the Local Laws

Does your state require a pre-sale pest inspection? If you don’t know the answer to this question, you’ll need to:
  • Talk to a real estate agent. A real estate professional should have knowledge of all applicable sales-related laws, rules, and regulations in your area.
  • Talk to a pest control professional. Specialists in the extermination area also have specialized knowledge of local laws for home buying and selling. The exterminator can provide you with the information you need and the services they offer.
  • Talk to mortgage and insurance companies. Is a pre-sales pest inspection required by the majority of mortgage and home insurance companies? If your local laws don’t require this service, but banks and insurers do, you’ll need to schedule an inspection.
Now that you know what you are or aren’t required to provide the buyer, it’s time to move on to the inspection itself. Keep in mind, even if local laws don’t mandate a pre-sales inspection, this valuable service can provide you peace of mind and make your home more marketable.

Hire a Qualified Professional

Pest inspection is a specialization general home inspectors may not have. Even though the buyer will bring in a certified professional to inspect the home during the escrow process, this contractor won’t have the same expertise, equipment, or qualifications a pest control technician has.
Before you hire a pest control contractor:
  • Ask about inspection experience. Does the company have experience specifically with home inspections? While you may need other services, such as extermination or pest prevention, the primary purpose of this contract is for immediate inspection.
  • Ask for references. Real-world referrals are the best way to judge the company’s expertise and ability to meet your inspection needs.
  • Ask about services. What does the inspection include? Will the technician check for all possible pests, assess interior and exterior parts of the property, or provide additional services you may need?
  • Ask about price. Make sure the inspection fits within the confines of your budget — especially if you’ve already bought a new home or have additional home improvement costs.
Hopefully the inspection won’t reveal a pest problem. But if it does, you’ll need to move on to the next step — extermination.

Contract Pest Control Services

What should you do if the pest inspector finds termites, bed bugs, or another invader? In most cases, you’ll need to disclose the problem to potential buyers.
Not only will the possibility of pests turn buyers away, but you may still need to live in your home for the time being. If you don’t want to share your space with insect invaders or take a hit on your selling price:
  • Schedule an extermination service. The pest control professional will create a treatment plan to remove the insects (or other problem) from your home.
  • Choose ongoing prevention. After extermination, keep your home pest-free with ongoing prevention services. This reduces the risk of an infestation during the sales process.
  • Ask for documentation. Ask the pest control contractor for documentation of treatment. This will reduce potential buyers’ insect anxiety.
If the pest problem also includes structural or other property damage, make repairs as soon as possible. This may include repairs to your home’s exterior, windows, or entry doors. These fixes will correct any damage and prevent pest re-entry.
Do you need a pest inspection? Contact Craig & Sons Termite & Pest Control, Inc., for more information.