So what is a termite letter?
Great question. Most homeowners have no idea what’s required of them when they’re selling a home. We hope this information makes at least this part of selling your home clear.
Mortgage companies require proof that your home doesn’t have termites before they commit to giving that anxious buyer a mortgage. This really makes so much sense when you think about it. There is no insurance for termites, there’s simply no way that insurance companies are going to cover something that they know is going to happen. I’m not even sure how they provide life insurance.
And mortgage companies aren’t willing to risk it either. So, they require proof that your home doesn’t have those nasty little monsters. That’s where the termite letter comes in.
The termite letter, or clearance letter in some parts of the country, provides some sort of proof to the mortgage company that your home doesn’t have termites. Sounds pretty straight forward, right? Well not so fast.
There’s a few big problems with this approach. The first problem is that termites wrote the book on hide and seek. Termites can’t handle exposure to air or sunlight, so they do all their work (and damage) in hidden places. Like in the wood studs behind your walls, in the wood floors over your concrete, and in the crawl space behind the insulation. They’re determined to stay hidden because it’s a matter of life and death.
The other problem goes hand-in-hand with the first one, since termites hide so well they are difficult to find. Very difficult. That’s why only professionals can go on the hunt for them, and not all professionals are the same. You need a company that takes the time and care necessary to search every available inch of your home to look for them. There are some companies that will provide a termite letter with just a cursory look at your home. This lacks integrity and could cause some major repercussions for you as the seller if the new homeowner founds out that you actually did have termites.
The last problem is that there are actually more wood damaging organisms that must be reported on the inspection. If I had a dollar for every time I recorded those organisms and made sellers and buyers made at me I could retire. The truth is that these need to be reported and added to the termite letter. The cost of solution can be negotiated, but the organisms need to be reported. So, if this happens to you, please be kind.
The best thing to do when you’re getting ready to sell your home is call us and we’ll do a free inspection and identify any problems, or potential problems, and you can address them long before you need the termite letter. If you wait until the last minute, you may lose a sale. That would be tragic.
Call us now and we’ll take a look for free.