What is a Termite Letter?
If you're buying or selling a home, you'll probably encounter a variety of terms you haven't heard before. One of those terms may be a "termite letter," or "termite bond," which is a requirement for many real estate transactions. You may be wondering what is a termite letter, how does it work, what does it cost and why is it so important? Read on to learn more.
What is a termite letter?
If you're looking to buy or sell a home in the near future, it's important to learn the basics of termite bonds and letters and find out why you might need one. It's important to start with the fact that what is often referred to as a termite letter is actually a Wood-Destroying Insect Report (WDIR) or Wood-Destroying Insects and Organisms Report (WDIOR). Along with other types of inspections, a termite inspection is an important aspect of homeownership.
This inspection is a visual inspection of accessible areas of the home and results in a WDIR. This is a document that confirms a home for sale has been inspected for any signs of wood-destroying insects. The letter typically details type of infestation and damage found, recommended treatments and limits of the inspection conducted.
If you are applying for a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan or a Veteran's Assistance (VA) loan, a wood-destroying insect inspection is required for approval. Rules can vary by state as some states require that the state-specific WDIR form be issued instead of any other FHA or VA letter.
Mortgage companies may also require this type of documentation. If you are a homeowner attempting to sell a home, acquiring a WDIR or having an established termite contract prior to the sale of a home can help save time and expedite the sale.
Do I need a termite letter?
In most cases, the answer is yes, you need to show that the structure has been professionally inspected in order to complete the real estate transaction. As a seller, having a termite letter can help speed up the sales process and increase the sales price. For a buyer, the termite letter is a source of security that the home is in good condition. Some states even recommend that the buyer get a termite inspection and letter as a source of security.
What is a termite bond?
A termite bond is commonly called a "termite contract" or a "termite agreement." This is a services contract between a homeowner and a termite control company. The type of contract and services under the plan can vary by company.
Although terms of a contract vary from company to company, under most basic contracts, the termite control company agrees to provide the homeowner with an initial treatment and annual inspection. Depending on the terms of the contract, if a termite infestation is discovered during the coverage period, the termite control company may consider covering the cost to remove the infestation.
Some termite contracts may also cover future repairs to damage caused by new termite infestations. Learn more about Terminix termite control plans here.
How does a termite bond work?
When you consider a termite agreement with Terminix, the first thing that happens is a thorough inspection of your home. A termite control professional will look for any evidence that termites have taken up residence in your home. If termites are found, depending on the terms of your particular termite contract, the termite professional will generally recommend a treatment plan for the area to eliminate them.
Typically, as part of your annual service, a termite inspector will schedule a yearly check-in on your home to make sure the termites haven't come back or moved.
If termites aren't found in your initial inspection, then your termite control technician may recommend a termite prevention and protection plan.
How much does a termite contract cost?
The average cost of a termite contract varies depending on your home and your specific needs. Of course, if you choose to purchase a contract that covers repairs, your costs may be higher than what they would be with a basic service contract. It's wise to consider the benefits of both types of contracts based upon your home.
Is a termite bond worth the money?
Termites are extremely destructive insects and they cause over $5 billion in damages to homes in the U.S. every year¹. The average cost of termite treatments and damage repairs is more than $9,000². A termite contract is the best protection against these destructive insects, and the price is reasonable.
Is a termite contract transferable?
Termite contracts can often be transferred to the new buyer who's moving onto the same property that a termite contract is already in place for, though this can vary by termite company. However, a termite contract can't be transferred from one property to another. If you're moving, one of the first things you should get for your new home is a termite contract.
How do I get a termite contract?
To get a termite contract, contact us at Terminix or call 1-877-837-6464 to schedule a free termite inspection today. Our termite professionals will inspect your home, looking for any signs of termites and their damage. And you can rest assured that our recommendations are based on experience and knowledge dealing with these destructive insects.
1 According to the National Pest Management Association, termites alone cause over $5 billion in property damage annually, a cost not covered by most homeowners insurance plans. 2 Average repairs: $8,566 according to 2018 survey of independent contractors in the Terminix network. Estimated treatment: $1,419. Every home is different; repair and treatment costs may vary.