Keys to Selling a House with Termite Damage
Termites may be small, but they get a lot accomplished as a team. A colony of termites can be just as damaging to your home as hurricane. Unlike hurricanes, termites are not limited to any particular geographic area – they can be found nationwide, munching on your largest investment! Termites do have some areas where they are less prevalent. The termite will tend to be most active in warmer and wetter climates. Cold regions can still be home to termites but they do prefer to stick to nicer weather.
The average termite is less than an inch long and capable of fitting into the tightest of places. They are masters of being undetected until the damage is significant. So you may be thinking, if termites are everywhere and capable of great damage, how can I possibly sell my home under these conditions. Well, you would be right to worry. Many people looking for a home have been taught to avoid anything with structural damage or homes with recurring problems. Termites are looked at as possessing both those qualities since they can eat the wood frame of a home and be incredibly stubborn when attempting to exterminate them. It is not uncommon for a homeowner to spend significant money having a professional kill one colony only to have a new colony swoop in and begin damaging the new wood!
You essentially have 3 options when selling a home with termite damage: you can put money into exterminating and repairing, try to sell the home “as is” on the real estate market, or sell your home “as is” to a cash home buyer.
Early Termite Detection
According to the National Pest Management Association, termites do five billion dollars in damage to American structures on a yearly basis. It is imperative you catch a termite infestation very quickly or else the damage recovery will be extremely expensive.
If you pay attention, you will probably see the termites before you ever see the damage. They usually breed in the Spring and will eventually leave dead termites bodies or parts as they go through life stages. Something else you might see are mud tubes near the home. You should be especially concerned if the mud tubes connect to a wooden part of the house.
When it comes to actually spotting damage, the first damage usually seen by homeowners is in the form of small holes outside. If you could follow these holes, you would see that they are in fact tunnels used by termites to travel into the interior of the structure.
- Wood that appears to have water damage even though there was no water exposure.
- Supposedly solid and dense wooden structures that give off a hollow sound when hit.
- Narrow mud tubes near the home. If termites are underground, they will often emerge right next to the home through these tubes.
- Termite droppings are often left outside instead of inside the home. Keep an eye out for these small, brown things. They can look like coffee grounds or saw dust depending on diet.
- Discarded wings after the termites have found a permanent home.
Can I Sell a House in Arizona with Termite Damage?
Arizonans are a little luckier than some parts of the country; while termites are almost everywhere, the American Southwest is not a considered a termite hot spot. We are more prone to roaches and flies than termites. Still, this is of no comfort to those Arizonans who do have a termite problem. Extreme cases of termites have been known to collapse a home! If you are relatively quick with detection, a typical termite removal from the average home may cost less than one thousand dollars. Just factor that into the profit from selling the home. There is value in not having to try to sell a home with an active termite problem. Because our termites are not as prevalent as they are in a state like Florida, Arizonans looking to sell a home with an active termite infestation are at a huge disadvantage. Home inventory is a bit tight, but not tight enough for the average person looking to buy a family home.
Actually Selling a Home with Termites
You do not have to actually sell it with the termites still inside. You can address the problem and give your home the opportunity to make a great first impression when you place it on the market. You can also choose to leave it as is and notify the buyer about it. The state of Arizona requires you to disclose known termites on a Residential Seller Disclosure statement. There are a few steps you will need to go through to make that happen:
- Termite Inspection
If you begin to suspect there are termites but are not sure if there are or of the scope of the problem, have a professional pest exterminator look. The last thing you want is a buyer to find this when they do their inspection, during negotiations.
- Full Disclosure
As stated earlier, you must tell buyers about termites. If you do not, you leave yourself open to legal action.
- Termite Treatment
If you choose to remove the termites when selling a house with termite damage, it may not cost you a lot. Early termite removal is almost always worth doing on a home that can perform well in a good market. Extensive termite damage, however, can begin to become an ordeal that you may not want to endure. A severe termite infestation can cost $2000 and that only covers the exterminator fee, not the repairs to the wood of the home! It is very rare, but some homes have been “totaled” by termite damage. This is more likely to happen with absentee owners or people who are very unwell and rarely visited by loved ones.
Many of the termite services you purchase will offer warranties. Your exterminator may cover their work on your home for up to a year. If you are selling the house immediately after the work is done, that warranty can be a selling point to mitigate the sting of disclosing a recent termite issue to buyers.
Selling a Termite Infested House “As Is” to a Cash Buyer
This is a great option for people who are very motivated to sell. It could be that you need to move by a certain date, can’t afford termite treatment, or the cost of the termite treatment would make it difficult to get any value out of selling on the market. Whatever your reason, if you have wondered “can I sell a house in Arizona with termite damage?”, the answer is emphatically yes because cash home buyers have different priorities than the average home buyer. They look for homes that have potential and are fully prepared to take on termite responsibilities!
With a cash buyer, you can skip all the showings and stagings. You do not have to spend one cent to sell. You still need to disclose everything, but the cash home buyer will be fine taking on a project provided the selling price leaves them with some room.
If you decide on selling a house with termite damage in AZ, cashoffersphx.com is the way to go. You can close on your own schedule without having to spend a dime or lift a finger to get the termite situation under control. Give us a call and let us come out and have a look at the property. We can make you a cash offer that you have no obligation to accept.