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termite control

Who pays for a termite inspection?

Understanding termite inspection fees for new homeowners

Nobody likes to talk about money, but when it comes to termite inspections, there's a bit of good news. As a home buyer, you may not be responsible for the cost of a termite inspection. Find out more about who pays for a termite inspection in the event that one is required during the home purchasing process.

When a termite inspection is a required part of the real estate transaction, there is usually a cost associated because the inspection covers termites as well as other wood-destroying insects. In this case, the seller will sometimes cover the cost and include the report as part of the overall inspection of the house.

From the buyer's point of view, certain types of loans like a VA (Veteran's Administration) loan, have additional requirements and restrictions on termite inspections. For example, in most states, the VA will not allow the buyer to pay for the inspection, and VA lenders require an invoice as proof of who paid for the inspection.

FHA (Federal Home Administration) loans require an appraisal. If the appraisal uncovers evidence of wood-destroying pests like termites, the next step may be to get a full pest inspection. Generally, the buyer will be responsible for any costs associated with a termite inspection in this case, but it can also be negotiated with the sellers.

What is a termite letter?

As mentioned, termite inspections are frequently required for real estate transactions. Individuals buying or selling a home will likely hear the words “termite letter” during the sale. A termite letter, also called a Wood Destroying Organisms (WDO) report or Wood Destroying Inspect (WDI) report, is a document that confirms a home for sale has been inspected for any signs of insects that may cause structural damage.

For the buyer, the document provides peace of mind that they're not purchasing a damaged home. For the seller, a termite letter can often expedite the sale. The mortgage company is the one that actually requires a WDI or WDO to protect themselves from financing a home that might have significant damage and that they could be stuck with should there be a default on the loan.

These letters outline the types of infestation and damage found (if any), as well as the recommended treatments and the limits of the inspection. Many mortgage lenders will require the letter on file to complete the transaction.

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No homeowner wants to find out that their new house is infested with termites. These small insects can be incredibly destructive. Each year, they cause a staggering $5 billion in property damage in the United States. Unfortunately, signs of their activity can be difficult to detect, and when they are seen, extensive damage has likely already occurred. That's why it's important to schedule a thorough termite inspection as part of the home purchasing process—even if it's not required by law.

If you are a new homeowner and want to be sure there aren't any signs of termite activity, Terminix offers free termite inspections. Our experts will check for termites in your home and recommend any further treatment if needed. Find out more about what to expect from a free termite inspection.

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