Often, home inspectors will offer “a free termite inspection” included with their home inspection price. Almost always, home buyers aren’t aware that such termite inspections come with no guarantee whatsoever! When a licensed pest inspector prepares an inspection report, the inspection is also usually not guaranteed, so that if termites are discovered after the home is purchased, the purchaser is not protected against paying for related repairs. They usually will, however, guaranty most houses if they are treating them with pesticides. Unless, for example, there is no moisture termite barrier on the foundation top under the sill plate. Newsday published an article on this subject and outlined how real estate lawyers in many states will recommend an independent termite inspector:
“The engineer found no termites, but when he wouldn’t give a guarantee, I suggested [the buyers] bring in a licensed pest controller,” Minella said. With a written guarantee, buyers would be protected against paying for repairs in case termites were found after they moved in.”
In some of my home inspection cases, separate licensed termite inspectors found infestation problems and these reports were used as negotiation tools because the buyers wanted the houses regardless. The slightly higher cost for a separate termite inspection may be worth it for a number of reasons. Pest applicators that offer WDO (wood destroying organism) termite reports are usually competitively priced because the inspectors anticipate that some of these inspections will lead to work down the road. As a matter of fact, this gives them an incentive to make an extremely thorough inspection in order to find infestation. In one case, a termite inspector found a clean house but found infestation under a log right next to the house. In this situation, treatment was recommended in the report.
I became certified through InterNACHI to inspect for termites and other WDO (wood destroying organisms) that I offer for free along with a home inspection, using a separate WDO inspection form.
Termite photo by Scott Bauer
Tags: Long Island termite inspections, Home inspectors offer termite inspections, Hamptons NY termite inspectors, pests