Selling a House with Termite Damage In California

Wood-eating insects, known as termites, can cause significant harm to your property. These pests, once inside your home, pose a major threat, damaging its structure and stability. This damage can lead to safety concerns and require expensive repairs.

The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) reports that termites cause about $5 billion in structural damage annually, which isn’t typically covered by insurance. Moreover, dealing with a termite issue can decrease the value of your property.

Preventing termite damage is crucial. Unfortunately, termites thrive in warm, humid climates, making them difficult to avoid.

Selling a House with Termite Damage In California

If you discover termites in your home, especially when you’re preparing to sell, it can deter potential buyers. Addressing termite damage is essential to maintain your home’s value.

In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of selling your house with termite damage: how to spot a possible termite infestation and how to deal with it; what you can do to get full market value for your home; and, your options in putting your home up for sale.

In order to avoid expensive structural repairs due to termite damage, early detection is key. Yet, detecting termites is tough as they seldom leave their hidden tunnels under soil and wood. Regular termite checks can be beneficial. If you do your own check and see signs of termite activity, take swift and firm action to get rid of them pronto.

Signs of Termite Issues in California

Termite swarmers are winged adult termites that fly away to establish their own colonies. You can find shed wings or dead swarmers on your home’s floor or windowsill.

Unfortunately, once swarmers are already out in the open, it is a sure sign that there is already a large termite colony underneath your property. It is imperative that you contact a pest control company ASAP in order to have your house inspected and treated.

If you spot mud tubes in your crawl space or running along the outside of your home, it’s likely you’ve got a pest problem. To confirm, snap off a small piece of the tube and see if it gets patched up over a few days. If it does, you’ve got an active infestation.

Mud tubes extending further up into the ceilings and exterior features like soffits and fascia boards could indicate Formosan termite colonies, sometimes called “super termites,” known for their aggressive behavior.

In any case, call and arrange a professional exterminator immediately for termite removal.

Drooping laminate floors, drooping ceilings, wood damaged by termites covered in dry mud, and fractured door frames are some common signs of severe termite damage. Often, a major termite issue may be concealed behind wallpaper or beneath loose floor tiles.

Get a professional on-site ASAP in order to prevent further damage.

Causes of Termite Infestation in California

Florida and Georgia rank high for termite risk due to their warm and humid climates, ideal conditions for termite activity. If you reside in these states, it’s crucial to take proactive measures to prevent termite infestations on your property.

Water damage is one of the biggest headaches a homeowner could deal with. It can cause a multitude of problems including mold, warping of structural members which may lead to collapse, and yes, termite infestations.

The space below your house is damp and dim, perfect for underground bugs like termites. If there are openings and splits in the base, termites can use these flaws to create mud tunnels and enter your home.

Also, crevices in your home’s outer surface, especially near entrances and windows, can provide a route for termite groups. External openings can also serve as access points for termites.

Routine checks can assist you in identifying and repairing these crevices promptly to prevent a severe termite invasion.

Untreated Wood Touching the House

Termites love wood, or rather, the cellulose contained within. Termites can be attracted to wood leaning against the walls of your house. After they have finished devouring it, (in order to feed their ever-growing colony) they would keep moving right into your home. This means your beams, columns, furniture, flooring, and ceilings are fair game for termites.

Can You Sell A House With Termites in California

Someone not familiar with spotting termite issues may overlook the early indicators. That’s why it’s smart to schedule regular pest inspections. This way, you can catch any termite problems early and get treatment before they build a full colony.

Yes, you can sell a house with termites.

You may be concerned that the pool of potential buyers for your property isn’t very large, but selling difficult houses, like ones with significant termite damage, can still be done.

There are two options open to you when trying to sell a house with a termite problem: fix the existing issues, undertake the repairs, then put your home on the open market; or sell the house as-is to a cash buyer.

Option #1: Repair and Remediate then Sell with a Termite Warranty

In a traditional home sale, a buyer looking to move in right away typically prefers a move-in-ready property. To attract such buyers, whether selling on your own or with an agent and MLS, it’s wise to make repairs beforehand.

Prospective buyers may be uneasy about a property with past termite issues, but you can reassure them by taking these steps:

Repair and Remediate then Sell with a Termite Warranty in California

Schedule a home inspection in order to get a picture of where you’re at and what you need to do with your property prior to listing it on the open market.

Follow the recommendations of the inspector regarding the necessary treatment so you can be in a better selling position down the line.

Repair and Rehabilitate the Property

Upon completing the removal of termites and other pests, it’s time to address the damage they caused.

If there’s significant damage to wooden frames, you can either fully replace them or opt for a more affordable choice by reinforcing the damaged wood. When replacing frames, consider termite-resistant materials like steel, treated timbers, or fiber-reinforced concrete.

Repair and Rehabilitate the Property in California

Once repairs are complete, schedule a second termite inspection and get a written report from the pest control expert. A clean bill of health can greatly benefit negotiations for the best-selling price.

Even if you live in a caveat emptor state, it is best practice to be honest and upfront with interested buyers regarding all known issues and material defects, especially termite damage in this case, even after treatment was completed. Doing so builds trust, and you avoid any future legal trouble.

Normally, the termite treatment comes with a one-year warranty. Make sure that this warranty is transferable to the buyer.

This would assure the potential buyers that the home has been taken care of, and should problems arise in the future, they know that it’s not going to cost them extra.

If you’re low on funds and in a hurry, you can sell to a cash buyer. You won’t need inspections, repairs, or staging. Investors and flippers are keen on such properties, especially if they’re distressed. Still, disclosure matters, so make sure buyers acknowledge the house’s condition in writing.

A buyer paying in cash will take into account the costs to fix and improve the property when making their offer. Thus, anticipate that the cash offer will likely be lower than the market value, as there’s significant work required, and the buyer needs to cover those expenses.

However, selling to a cash buyer relieves you and your family from the complexities of a standard sale. Plus, you avoid agent commissions, giving you more money upfront. Cash buyers also close quickly since they don’t rely on mortgage approval.

With the time you save, you may realize in the end that this is the more cost-effective option.

To choose between the options, you should think about three things: time, effort, and finances.

If the termite damage repairs are small and won’t require much time or money, you can fix them yourself before putting the house up for sale.

For significant termite damage, if you have the energy, you can hire a contractor to handle repairs. It may take longer and cost more, but it could pay off if you can sell the house for a good price to cover the expenses.

If you don’t have the money to get the house treated and repaired, then time is also a problem for you. Left unaddressed, the termite problem could get progressively worse as time passes by.

Things to Consider in Selling a House with Termite Damage in California

If you want to sell your house quickly, the best option is to sell to a real estate investor for cash. This avoids dealing with termites and repairs, letting you move on faster.

No. Termite damage is not covered by your homeowner’s insurance, per the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) since termite infestations are entirely preventable by routine home maintenance, and thus, it is deemed to be within the owner’s responsibility.

When doing your own ocular survey around your property, be on the lookout for the following:

  • Windows or doors getting stuck
  • Termite droppings which may resemble salt, pepper, or sawdust
  • Pinholes where termites have eaten through paint or wallpaper
  • Bubbling and peeling paint
  • Wood members that feel and sound hollow
  • Maze-like patterns on floor and ceiling joists
  • Swollen and warped floors
  • Flying termite swarms

While you can definitely go the DIY route for termite control, it is much more effective to hire a professional exterminator to get rid of termites on your property.

You can find pest control professionals by browsing the database at the National Pest Management Association (NPMA).

Sure. Many home buyers want an inspection before finalizing the deal. It’s best if the info comes from you rather than them finding out later.

Termites scare off many retail buyers since a history of them can seem risky. But a cash buyer is okay with doing repairs, so selling a house with termite history is easier.

Expenses to address termite damage in a property fluctuate based on factors such as the property’s size, the extent of termite presence, the necessary treatment method determined by the specific type of termite, and the subsequent moisture elimination.

Typically, here are the expenses associated with addressing a termite issue in a property:

Termite assessment: $85-$300

Termite treatment: $230-$930

It’s important to recognize that ongoing preventive measures and any repairs made post-termite treatment can accumulate to thousands of dollars.

You can prevent termite infestations by installing mesh screens on external vents, repairing and sealing cracks in your home’s exterior, and getting your house and its environs chemically treated using Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved pesticides to get rid of subterranean termites.

Selling a property with termites can be tricky if you want to attract a retail buyer in the open market. Dealing with termite removal and repairs can be expensive in both money and time. If you want to sell without the hassle of termite issues, consider a cash buyer who buys homes in their current condition. This can save you a lot of trouble by offering you cash upfront.

At JiT Home Buyers, we buy houses as-is! Termites don’t deter us, and selling to us means you don’t have to deal with termite damage repairs. We close on burdensome houses fast, aiming to simplify the selling process for you.

Simply fill out the form below, and we’ll provide a quick, fair cash offer—no obligation whatsoever! You can choose the closing date, and we’ll cover all closing costs.

Have questions about selling a property with termites in California? Feel free to reach out to us at (510) 473-5885.

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We Buy Houses AS-IS In California

We are a local real estate investment company in California that buys houses in any condition. We also buy mobile homes and condos in any condition. You can sell your house fast for cash regardless of the condition.

Our service area includes homes in San Francisco, San Jose, Sacramento and throughout California. Our goal is to serve homeowners with a simple solution when selling there house fast.

You can start the process to sell your house fast by calling us or filling in the online form. We will respond back to you the same day and present you with a fair cash offer for your house. If you accept our cash offer for your home, you can schedule a closing date and get cash for your house.

The Easiest Way To Sell Your House Fast In California

You’re in the driver’s seat when you accept our cash offer for your house. We make the process simple, fast, and easy to follow when working with us. You have no obligation to accept our cash offer for your home when contacting us for a fair cash offer for your home. No matter the reason you want to sell your house, we want to buy your home as is. Remember that you get many benefits that include no real estate agent commissions, no cleaning, no improvements, and no stress. Our cash offer for your as-is house assures you of fast cash payment at closing with a reputable Title company. You can count on our company to give you a fair cash offer for your home! If you’re still thinking, “I need to sell my house fast”, calling us could be your best decision all day. 🙂

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Author: Saini

My name is Saini, and I founded the JiT Home Buyers team with years of experience in the real estate industry. I have assisted numerous sellers in selling their homes quickly, “AS-IS”, and for a fair price.

He’s been featured in multiple publications including Yahoo Finance, GoBankingRates, LegalZoom, The Mortgage Report, Apartment Therapy, US News and World Report, and SuperMoney among others.

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