Things Carlsbad Sellers Should Know About
Having Your Home Tented for Termites
Most people know that termites are a very common problem here in Southern California. Indeed the joke is that there are two types of homes – those with termites and those that will get them. Probably true.
Some Carlsbad sellers have a termite inspection before putting their homes on the market and then deal with whatever issues there are so they can provide a clearance, knowing that buyers will likely request this. There are some sellers who have an ongoing maintenance contract with a vendor to take care of issues as they arise and avoid surprises when selling.
Some buyers will request a termite inspection with Section 1 repairs (e.g., active infestation and damage) as part of their offer; of course that is negotiable between the parties. In a competitive bid situation some buyers may choose to not request this since it might make their offer less appealing.
Other buyers decide to have their own termite inspection (and should) during the due diligence process, and then request repairs, which may include tenting or other remediation, depending on the circumstances. Or they might decide to just take care of issues after closing.
Tenting the house to take care of termites is sometimes recommended as opposed to spot treatment, depending on the extent of the problem. Tenting for termites is a bit of a nuisance since homeowners need to vacate for at least 48 hours because of the chemicals being used. This becomes even more of a challenge, and perhaps a cost, if you have pets and kids.
Some sellers opt for other treatment methods, including Orange Oil and heat (we used W. A. Stone recently as have several clients and it was much preferred, and less expensive than tenting would have been) because of concerns about chemicals, and not want to move out of the property.
As a seller it’s important to realize that tenting poses some risks to your property. This is particularly true in the case of homes with tile roofing – tiles can be damaged, moved or broken by the vendors when installing the tent. I always recommend the seller purchase insurance for this. I had seller recently who were in such a situation and thankfully opted for the insurance, as there were about 10 tiles that were broken and had to be replace by the termite company after the fact.
The tenting may also damage any plantings that are next to the house. Be sure to read the contract so you understand this sort of liability issue and who is responsible for what.
Another risk to tenting that is becoming more common is theft that takes place during the tenting. There have been a number of stories in the last several years where thieves have broken into multiple properties while the tent was in place and have taken jewelry and other items.
In a recent case here in Carlsbad in May the seller fortunately had purchased a FumeWatch video camera system that captured the thief, wearing a respirator, going through the property.
Sellers should be aware of the possible risks and be sure to remove all valuables and portable electronics, just in case. Better yet do the tenting after you have moved out if the circumstances permit.
It’s important to have a discussion with your listing agent around these issues in advance so you understand the options and can make the decisions you are most comfortable with, should termites be an issue in your house.
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