To Disclose or Not to Disclose: How to Sell a House with Termite Damage
When you’re selling a home, the last thing you want is for the home inspection report to show major issues. These include radon in the basement, exposed wiring, and black mold. Asbestos, a buried oil tank, and termite damage are also deal breakers for most home buyers.
Termite damage, in particular, is something a lot of home sellers dread. This is because DIY methods aren’t that effective.
There’s only so much you can do to stop termites from destroying your home. If you want the problem solved, you’ll have to call a pest control company.
You’re lucky if you caught it early. But if the damage is extensive, it’s a sure thing you’ll pay a lot to have it fixed.
Now, before you worry about that, you should know that a termite-damaged home isn’t unsellable. That said, let’s talk about your options for selling a home with termite problems.
First Things First: Confirm You Have Termites
If you haven’t had an inspector check your home for problems, there are signs of termite damage you can watch out for. These include wood-colored droppings, mud tubes, and discarded wings. You can read more here to know what termites look like, plus some prevention tips.
Pro advice: Even if you know how to spot termites, it’s always better to play it safe. Get a pest control professional to check your home asap. The problem could be worse than you think, and you’ll be glad that you called for help early.
Selling a House with Termite Damage: Option 1
You’ve seen termite damage signs. The professional termite treatment company even confirmed it. Now what?
Your first option is to take care of the problem. Before listing your home, it should be 100% treated.
And yes, how much termite treatment costs might shock you. But if you plan to sell your home with the help of a real estate agent, you don’t have a choice in the matter.
For one thing, the law requires you to disclose any known problems when you fill out a seller’s disclosure form. Of course, these include the presence of termites. If you keep it a secret and the buyer learns about it when they move in, they can sue you.
Along with the disclosure form, you have to provide documentation about the types of treatments you’ve done to take care of the problem. The more detailed the documentation is, the less likely buyers will find your home objectionable.
Option 2: Selling Your Home As Is
We talked about some of the ways to sell a house fast in a previous post. One of the options listed there was to sell to a fast sale company, which is another term for cash buyers or as-is buyers.
With a fast sale offer, you don’t need to do anything to fix the problems in your home. Buyers who offer cash for your home will snatch it as it is. They could even give an offer in as fast as 24 hours.
Once you accept a fast sale offer, the whole closing process could take as little as 7 to 10 days. This is what makes it such a good option for homeowners who are facing foreclosure, in the middle of a divorce, or plan to move to a new place soon.
Should You Go for Option 1 or Option 2?
If you want a good price for your home, then go for option 1. With option 2, it’s a sure thing you’ll never get back what you paid for. Cash buyers or investors pay only about 60% on the dollar.
Keep in mind though that it’s not a sure thing you’ll get to profit off your home sale if you choose option 1. Yes, you could get good offers. But those offers won’t matter much if you already spent a fortune on termite treatment.
The best situation for you to be in is if the pest control company didn’t find extensive damage. After all, there is a huge difference between “some” and “a lot” of damage.
If you find some damage and you’ve taken steps to correct it, it shouldn’t affect the sellability of your home that much. Also, working with the best real estate agent could help you close the sale faster.
Now, if you don’t plan to sell yet, you should consider investing in annual termite inspections and treatments. This way, you won’t have too much on your plate when you’re ready to sell.
More on Option 2
Is option 2 looking more attractive to you right now? There are pros to selling your house as is such as faster closing and few to no closing costs.
But here’s where you might want to think twice before calling up that ugly home buyer. Even if you’re itching to sell your not-so-good home to a cash buyer, you still need to tell that buyer that it is termite-ridden.
It’s also not a guarantee that you’re free from any liability. If the home buyer finds that you’ve lied about the condition of your home, they can sue you.
To protect yourself, do your research. Don’t just accept cash offers without checking if that company is legit. Go online and look for reviews.
Check websites. A company that offers to buy homes for cash without a website is a definite red flag. Even if you’re not expecting to make a lot of money on your home sale, it still pays to do your homework to avoid getting scammed.
Ready to Sell Your Home?
Now that you know your options for selling a home with termite damage, are you ready to sell your property?
If you’ve decided on option 1 and you’re in the Miami area, we can help. Give us a call at (305) 357-0635 and talk to one of our experienced representatives. We offer a full range of consulting services unrivaled in today’s marketplace.
For more home advice and tips, don’t forget to check out the rest of our blog.