Pat Kennedy - Your Washington, DC Real Estate Connection


The Termite Inspection Isn't Just for the Lender!

In the DC Metro area, there are two types of houses:  those that have termites, and those that will get termites at some future date.  So it's no surprise that, at least for single family homes, most lenders require a certificate from a licenced pest control company saying that the is no evidence of wood destroying incects or damage from these little pests.

But sometimes, the bank doesn't ask for a clear termite report. 

Whether or not the bank wants this certificate, there is a section in our boiler-plate contract language that requires either buyer or seller to pay for an inspection and to have a clean bug report by settlement.  It there are wood eating bugs, they have to be dead.  If there is any damage, it needs to be repaired. 

Once in a while, if the lender doesn't ask for a pest inspection, the buyers will just not bother with it, especially if the home inspector didn't note any obvious evidence - termites leave behind tracks, and other insects may leave little mounds of sawdust. 

Bad idea!

It's important to have the house inspected by a company that offers a one-year warranty - if they show up during the year after the inspection, the pest control company will treat the house at no charge.  And after the year is up, it's not a bad idea to keep up a service contract that allows for annual inspections.

And we're talking termites, carpenter bees and other insects that destroy wood.  If you've got ants or roaches, they're gross, but they won't eat your house!


Comment balloon 11 commentsPatricia Kennedy • July 19 2014 09:26AM


Hello Pat,  I guess we are lucky out here in Colorado that lenders or few families ask for this inspection.  Hope you have a great day!

Posted by Will Hamm, "Where There's a Will, There's a Way!" (Hamm Homes) almost 6 years ago

We watch closely the termite report because it is a termite area and unhandled they can do a lot of damage.

Posted by Tim Lorenz, 949 874-2247 (TIM LORENZ - Elite Home Sales Team) almost 6 years ago

This is really a need. Even if I would buy a home, I will be more secured if I have that one done on the list. Thanks for sharing!

Posted by Patty Da Silva, Davie, Southwest Ranches Cooper City, Plantation, Weston, REALTOR, Top Listing Broker (BROKER of Green Realty Properties® - 954-667-7253) almost 6 years ago

Banks in NY require a termite inspection before closing... As for us we always get one on anything we buy and we have our home inspected once a year... Don't want those critters eating our stuff 

Posted by Beth and Richard Witt, Long Island Cash Home Buyer 516-330-6940 (Long Island Cash Home Buyer) almost 6 years ago

Pat, what I was find amazing is how sellers are offended when someone wants to get a pest inspection upon their property. For one thing they are paying for it so I don't see the objection there however it's for the buyers peace of mind that they get a pest inspection not so much the lender in many cases...

Posted by Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS, South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker! (Fathom Realty Washington LLC) almost 6 years ago

Great point Patricia, ignoring the termites can lead to way more money spent in the future. Important advice for any home owner.

Posted by Noah Seidenberg, Chicagoland and Suburbs (800) 858-7917 (Coldwell Banker) almost 6 years ago

Our contracts removed that language a few years ago.  I use a special stip to put it right back in... we have those same two types of homes in Georgia.

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) almost 6 years ago

Pat, I don't think I've ever sold a house without a termite inspection being done. You're right, there is more than a lender benefit to it. Get one for your own piece of mind.

Posted by Mike Cooper, GRI, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) almost 6 years ago

Pat some times Buyers forget that inspections like this actually protect them more than they do the Lender, and just like a Home Inspection they would be wise to request them where the Lender requires them or not.

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) almost 6 years ago

I recently had the daughter of a friend ask me to list her home.....then I found out that she had been procrastinating for 3 years on getting the house tented, even though she knew it was needed. I told her to tent first or at least show me the signed contract to tent and then I would list it....................still not listed.

Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) almost 6 years ago


I've been working and teaching probate real estate to agents and investors for over 15 years, increasing production and profits with a detailed - how to system working homes in probate, working under the mls radar, avoiding court and with 5 different ways to get paid,  per probate transaction.

I spend a lot of time on Inspections. I'm going to share your post with my students and I look forward to reading more from you  =)

Posted by Gary DiGrazia, Sr., Probate Real Estate Expert Training (EXP Realty ) almost 6 years ago