More of Termites – Ask the Broker


We seem to have become Termite Central lately. This is another Ask the Broker email, received yesterday, regarding our home-ingesting friends:

I am planning on selling my house but have been told I have both drywood and subterranean termites.  My quandary is what method to use.  I have quotes for both tenting and using Bora Care and Termiticide Termidor.  What do realtors or lending companies think. I would prefer using a method other than tenting but I don’t want a problem down the line.  I only want to have it done once.

Thanks so much for any advice you can give me.

I don’t know where your home is, but I’ll give you what I know about our local practices. If a contract calls for the home to be free of active infestation, which is most typically the case, the buyer and the lender will expect a licensed termite company to deliver a “clearance” prior to close of escrow. How you get the clearance can vary. In many pest inspection reports where evidence of drywood termites is noted, primary treatment (fumigation) and secondary treatment (localized treatment, such as injection) will be identified. Often, the report will caution that the secondary treatment method, which is typically less costly than fumigation, is considered “substandard”, yet opting for this path will still result in receiving the necessary clearance.

When issues arise, it is usually because the seller wants to take the least expensive route while the buyer wants the primary solution. A clearance is a clearance in the lender’s eyes, but the Wood Destroying Pests and Organisms Report itself is a disclosure issue and a buyer contingency, so the buyer may elect to dictate the treatment method as a condition of the purchase. In other words, it becomes negotiable.

As far as the products you mention, Bora Care and Termiticide Termidor, I would have to refer you to a professional pest control company. As an agent, I do not have specific knowledge of treatment options or their effectiveness – I leave this to the professionals. From the standpoint of the agents, the lenders and the would-be buyers, the bigger issue is not how you accomplish the remediation but that the home is ultimately certified as termite-free.

Having said that, I will confess to having worked with a couple of buyers over the years who would not have purchased a home which required fumigation, but in my experience, this is the exception to the rule.

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