Buying or Selling a House with Termite Damage? Here’s What You Should Know…


It can be an attractive option when dealing with termites to just want to throw in the towel and sell your house and buy a new one. It is perfectly optional to sell a house that has been damaged with termites, but complete elimination of all colonies and full disclosure is essential if you want this to be an easy process with no possible repercussions. It is a tricky situation, but selling or buying a termite damaged home is possible, and in most circumstances, honesty will go a long way.

Is it possible to buy or sell a house with termite damage?

Buying or selling a home with termite damage is possible, but full disclosure of an existing problem will increase the odds of a sale. Repairs need to be taken after the elimination of termites.

There are many viable options when it comes to selling a home with termite damage, which can also translate to buyers as well due to “as is†options. For complete transparency and to increase buying odds, it would be the right thing to eliminate the termite problem before selling. If repairs and elimination are simply not options, you can advertise your home as is to a cash buyer, which would increase the odds for a sale.

Can You Sell a House That Has Termites?

If you have decided to sell your home with either an active infestation of termites or, a previously recent infestation, full disclosure is simply your best bet and the right thing to do. Some states and counties require disclosure of termites and even previous infestations that were eradicated. If you choose to sell, there are certain steps you need to take to ensure your sell will result in a purchase… and to ensure no possible repercussions fall back on you for not disclosing or attempting to address infestation or damage.

If you have a current infestation of termites, there are some choices available if you want to sell. Your best bet will be to sell your home as is; this will likely attract buyers who want to pay for reduced market value and it is almost certain that you will have to sell your house for a rate much lower than its worth. The buyer will be stuck with eliminating the termites and fixing any damage caused by them, so it is only right to include these possibilities in your price.

If you want the absolute best price for your home, go ahead and eliminate the termites and repair all the damage they have caused. You can also fully disclose the problem and work with potential buyers to see what they are willing to do. If you want a buyer to cover all of the costs of repairs or elimination of the termites, work with a real estate company to establish an “as is†contract and reflect the price this will cause the buyer in your quote.

evidence and signs of termite damage
Signs of termite damage in a house.

Should You Buy a House with Termite Evidence?

If you are considering a home and you notice termite damage, the first thing you should do is survey the damage and know the signs of termite damage. If any wood or drywood, sheetrock, or ceiling has what appears to be mud-like tunnels or wood that has been hollowed and filled with small holes, this is a sign of termite damage. You will likely know before if the home has termites or any damage, as the seller is expected to advertise such situations for “as is†selling.

If you notice these warning signs, it becomes a question that you need to consider based upon what the outcome could be if the infestation is still active and if it is worth the headache to address. No doubt, the home will likely be a bargain and if you notice this type of damage–you can see why. Address your evidence with the seller and if they are receptive, they may work out a plan with you in addressing the repairs; if not, you can either decide to address the problem yourself or, cut your losses and move on.

Can a Termite Infested House be Saved?

A house that has become infested with termites can certainly be saved, but there are some considerations to take into account if the damage already caused is extensive. The first line of defense is obviously to eradicate termites from your home and safeguard your home from future infestations.

You can do this through a pest control company, or, take the matter into your own hands with the right DIY product like Permetherin Insecticide which is powerful against termites.

If you choose to address the problem on your own, it will take a lot of work, but it is certainly feasible. The structural damage caused by the termites will also need to be addressed – especially if you are deciding to sell your home. Eliminate, repair, and prevent is the process you want to follow.

How Long Do Termites Take to Destroy a House?

Once a home has become infested with termites, a queen in one colony can live for up to fifty years; therefore, continuing the colony for potentially decades. If a colony is never eliminated, the structures of your home will continue to erode year by year. If termites have made colonies inside of the support frames of the house, you will want to address this immediately as your safety could be in jeopardy due to the structures potentially crumbling.

Related termite content: Do foggers kill termites?

house with termite damageRelated Questions

Is Termite Damage Covered by Homeowner's Insurance?

In general terms, most, if not all, homeowner's insurance will not cover termite damage; you can always check various companies to see if termite damage is covered before you purchase insurance. The reasonings for this involve the terms “accidental†and “sudden.†Since termites are a natural part of the environment, insurance companies usually do not consider termites and their damage to be warranted through coverage – unfortunately.

How Much Does Termite Insurance Cost?

The good news when it comes to insurance against termites is that some insurance companies and even pest control companies will offer an annual premium fee to cover termite removal and structural damage, which can range between $300 to $500. The catch is that most companies will not pay for pre-existing termite infestations and damage. If you have termites, address the problem and then consider termite insurance for any future problems that may occur.

Can Termite Damage be Fixed?

Termite damage can certainly be fixed and the costs for such repairs will vary based upon the extent of the damage. If the support frame of a house (worst case scenario) has been damaged, these costs can be substantial. Minor damage to walls and furniture will cost less and hopefully, once you have eradicated the termites, the destruction they caused is minimal.

In Summary

Termites are one of the worst nightmares a homeowner can have. The damage they cause is not leveled against humans in general – but to the very foundation of your home. If you decide that you simply cannot take the stress of dealing with termites, or, the damage is just too severe to warrant repair – you can sell your house.

Selling a home with termites or termite damage is a tricky situation and if you have decided not to address the situation or fix the damage, you may want to consider selling your home “as is.†Honesty is always the best policy, just as any buyer would want to know if they are buying a home that has or has been damaged by termites. You do not have to suffer a complete loss, as some buyers will appreciate the honesty and reduced price and if you decide to fix the damage – this will be even better for both parties involved.

See also: Types of termites and how to identify them

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