Termites can eat you out of a home sale if you're not careful.
While the cost of termite treatment isn't cheap, a termite inspection is a good idea for home sellers who want a smooth home sale and don't want to lose out on potential buyers.
For buyers, a termite inspection can be necessary for certain home loans.
Read on to learn how much termite inspections cost, who pays, and what happens if an inspection uncovers unwanted guests nibbling away at your home's beams or studs.
How Much Does a Termite Inspection Cost?
Termite inspection costs range from $50-$280 and typically cost $100, according to 2022 data from HomeAdvisor.
Many home inspectors offer termite inspections as part of a package. Termite inspections purchased along with a general home inspection may be cheaper than standalone termite inspections.
On average, inspectors bundle a termite or general pest inspection service with a home inspection for an additional $75-$125.
Termite Inspection Costs: Who Pays
In California and most other states, the seller pays for termite inspections. This is because some lenders ask home buyer's for a termite certificate or report prior to funding a loan — no inspection, no loan, no home sale.
That's not always the rule, as home buyers may want to commission their own termite inspection as part of the home inspection process.
If the seller doesn't offer a termite inspection or a termite inspection report, it's on the buyer to pay for a termite inspection.
Do I Need a Termite Inspection?
Some government-backed lenders require termite inspections, depending on where the home is located.
VA loans require a termite inspection report for closing in high-termite infestation zones and prohibit the buyer from paying for it. FHA loans also require a termite report or "termite letter" if the initial FHA inspection discovers possible evidence of termites. A termite report costs $100-$200.
Non government-backed lenders may require a termite inspection if termites are suspected, but they are usually not otherwise required.
How Much Does Termite Treatment Cost?
Termite treatment costs depend on the treatment method. Cost of tenting a house for termites can range from $1,000-$4,000, depending on severity of the infestation and size of the home.
If you don't need to fumigate the entire home, localized termite fumigation costs range from about $200-$850.
Who Pays for Termite Treatment?
A termite report categorizes items as "Section 1" or "Section 2."
Section 1: What the Seller Needs to Fix
Section 1 items identify the current, actual damage caused by any termites, or the identification of an infestation.
The seller will need to fix these problems before the buyer moves in, or ideally before there's a potential buyer at all — damage and pest infestation may disqualify a buyer from home loans.
Costs can include tenting or localized spraying to eliminate an active termite infestation. Other expenses can include repairs, like fixing wood that has been chewed by termites. Depending on the buyer's loan, these repairs may need to be made before closing.
A good realtor can help you navigate the home selling process, including whether or not you should include a termite inspection — as well as what repairs you should make before selling your home.
If you're looking for a great local agent, our friends at Clever Real Estate can help. Clever will match you with top-performing agents who can help sell your home for just 1%. The average Clever seller saves $9,000!
Section 2: What the Buyer Needs to Prepare for
Section 2 items are what could lead to potential future problems with any termites.
For example, a termite inspection report may state: "We advise that you move the soil away from touching the base of the house to reduce the odds of future termite problems." This line item would be considered a preventative recommendation the buyer would usually pay for it after the home sale.
However, if the problem seems severe enough, a lender may require the issue to be fixed before approving the loan.
Termite Treatment in an “As Is
An "as-is sale" occurs when the seller is not willing to make any repairs or solve any termite problems.
A seller opting not to make any termite repairs can cause issues for a buyer seeking a loan, since some lenders won't underwrite a home with an active termite infestation. Cash buyers don't need a loan and can buy an "as-is" home in any condition.
As with most things in real estate, everything is negotiable. Buyers can ask for a contingency stating the seller pays for a termite inspection, treatment, or both. If that contingency isn't met, the buyer can exit the sale without losing earnest money.
Another option is for the buyer to pay for it themselves, but if the seller is eager to close, they'll be willing to pick up the tab.
Termite Inspection Costs: Recommendations for Sellers
As the seller, you should expect to pay for the termite inspection cost and Section 1 termite treatment.
If you negotiate an offer that states you are not responsible for paying for Section 1 remediation, make sure the buyer tracks whether or not the lender requires a termite certificate. If the lender requires one, be sure to schedule a termite inspection early so closing isn't delayed.
If you live in a high termite infestation zone, getting a termite inspection before selling your house can help you pre-empt any problems. Discovery of termites can cause significant closing delays or even cause the sale to fall through. Paying for treatment and making repairs beforehand can help facilitate a smooth transaction.
Termite treatment can be expensive. If you're looking for ways to save money on a home sale, we recommend going with a discount realtor.
Our friends at Clever pre-negotiate low listing fees with top agents from renowned brokerages like Berkshire Hathaway and Coldwell Banker. You'll get the full service of a traditional agent for a fraction of the price!
FAQs About Termite Inspections
How much is a termite inspection?
Termite inspections cost about $50-$280, with a typical price of $100. Some home inspectors will bundle a termite inspection at a discount.
How much is termite treatment?
Termite treatment can be expensive, depending on the severity. Tenting and fumigation costs can run you $1,000-$4,000. If you don't need to fully tent the home,costs are significantly less.
How much does a termite inspection report for closing cost?
A termite inspection report or "termite letter" costs $100-$200.These can be necessary for certain home loans, particularly VA loans.
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