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What happens when the termite company fails to inspect?

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What happens when the termite company fails to inspect?

Dear Phyllis,

After two weeks of negotiating back and forth with the seller, we finally opened escrow. The seller’s Realtor provided us with a copy of a termite report and a completion notice (one month old) showing that the termite work had been done. In one of our counter offers we acknowledged receipt and approval of the seller’s termite report. My Realtor recommended that we also have the home inspected by an inspector, which we did. Our inspector found evidence of additional termite damage not reflected in the seller’s termite report. What happens when the termite company fails to fully inspect?

1st time home buyer

Dear 1st timer,

Congratulations on your successful negotiations. Typically your real estate contract would have provided you with a period of time to investigate the property, often anywhere between 10-17 days. I am assuming that you have not yet removed this investigative contingency. Depending on when this contingency expires, you may need to have your real estate agent request an extension.

Ask your Realtor to recommend a second (different) termite company to perform another inspection. If the 2nd opinion is clear, end of problem.

If the second report indicates additional infestation:

Did the termite completion provided by the seller state that the property was free and clear of termites? If so, depending on the length of time of the first termite company’s warranty, they may be obligated to perform any additional termite repairs or treatments at no additional cost to the seller.

Real estate purchase contracts sometimes note that the seller provide section I termite work. If there is additional termite damage found in the second report ask that the seller provide termite clearance as per the contract. If the seller does not agree, ask in a different way: that as part of your removal of the investigative contingency that the seller provide section I termite completion. In the event the seller refuses, and you have not removed your inspection contingency you could cancel escrow and have your deposit refunded to you. The seller then must disclose both termite reports to any subsequent buyer.

Related Post: Pre-inspections before making an offer 

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