Are sellers obligated to provide a termite-free property when selling a home? That is a question I get asked a LOT.
When I started selling real estate in 1986, and for the first 20 or so years of my real estate career, home sellers were usually providing a termite free home to the buyers upon delivery. It was so common that the termite report and clearances were actually on the contract. But here is the key, it WAS in the contract and if it was in writing and agreed to, then it had to be done by whomever agreed to do it as per the contract.
But several years ago, our purchase contracts that we use as REALTORS® had the termite repair clause removed from the residential purchase agreement altogether, and most people do not know this but the new purchase contracts are pretty much AS-IS contracts with the sellers ONLY liable for performing repairs that are clearly stated in the contract or any addendum that was either checked or added IN WRITING.
The good thing is that the contracts also give buyers a certain time frame to conduct their inspections and do their due diligence. If a buyer requests repairs as a result of the inspections and the seller does not agree to any repairs, the buyers also have the right to cancel the sale and receive their deposit back provided that they are within their allotted time frame for inspections.
DOESN’T THE LENDER REQUIRE IT?
Will the lender lend on a home that has termites? Sure they will. It happens all the time because as long as it is not in the contract that there needs to be a termite clearance, and the appraiser does not go out there and note that there appears to be major termite issues in their appraisal, it is a non-factor. There is however a few types of loans that require a termite clearance with one of those being a VA loan.
It all comes down to this, “What does the contract say?”
So remember: ALWAYS read the contract and UNDERSTAND what you are signing and agreeing to.
And as always, Happy Selling and Happy Buying!
REALTOR® since 1986
BRE # 00921165
Keller Williams Realty
831-252-3959 Direct Line
Robert Aldana is a 30+ year licensed real estate veteran with Keller Williams Realty, and also a long-term resident and homeowner here in town. He is the founder of MyScottsValley.com and the popular local news and events page at Facebook.com/MyScottsValley.
Robert was also a nationally syndicated real estate journalist and was a highly sought after interviewee on the topic of real estate by local, national and even international media, in addition to appearing on HGTV and local NBC’s “Best of the Bay”.
Many of his articles and interviews can still be read at RobertAldana.com, RealtyTimes.com, Forbes.com, among many other real estate and finance news sites and publications.
Robert was recently awarded the Santa Cruz Sentinel Readers Choice Award as the Best REALTOR® in Scotts Valley for 2016. Click here to read more.