Selling a House With Termites? Here’s What To Do

A repairman talking with a homeowner about the termites in her house

House termites can cause a lot of damage to a home. Not only do they eat away at the wood, but they can also create an unsightly and dangerous environment. If you’re trying to sell a house with termites, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered! In this blog post, we will discuss everything you need to know about selling a house with termites in Tennessee. We’ll answer all of your questions, such as “Can termites travel from house to house?”, “How do I remove termites from my home?” and “What are my options for fixing termite damage?” We’ll also discuss the process of selling a house with termite damage in TN, so you know what to expect!

Things to Know About House Termites in Tennessee

When it comes to termites, Tennessee is a hotbed of activity. The state has one of the country’s highest rates of termite infestations. If you’re selling a home with termites, there are a few things you need to do to protect yourself and the buyer.

Unfortunately, Tennessee is a state where there are a lot of termites and termite problems.

To clarify termites are bugs that can eat wood. The most prevalent type of termite in Tennessee is the subterranean termite species. This kind of termite lives underground and builds their nests there. They can cause a lot of damage to a home, as they eat the wood from the inside out.

Termites thrive in warm, humid environments. They can’t survive in cold weather, so they typically aren’t a problem in states with cold winters. However, termites can be a big problem in states like Tennessee, which have warm winters. They are attracted to homes with wooden decks, porches, and other structures made from wood.

Termites can cause a lot of damage to a home. They can eat through the wood, causing the structure of the house to weaken. This can lead to expensive repairs. In some cases, termites can even cause the home to collapse.

The cost of repairing damage caused by termites can be thousands of dollars. In some cases, it may be more cost-effective to simply demolish and rebuild the home than to repair the damage caused by the termites. 

If you’re selling a home with termites, it’s important to disclose this information to the buyer. The buyer may choose to either terminate the contract or negotiate a lower price for the home.

Can Termites Travel from House to House?

Termites are destructive little bugs but can termites travel from house to house?

Yes, termites can travel from house to house. Termites move and they spread through contact with soil and, sometimes, through building materials that have been in contact with the ground.

Swarms of winged termites, called alates, often fly from an infested structure to a new one in search of a mate. Once they find a mate, they shed their wings and establish a new colony. Similar to ants, there are queen termites and worker termites.

So if you have termites in your home, getting rid of them as soon as possible is crucial to prevent them from spreading to your neighbor’s house.

If you think you have termite activity, it’s important to contact a pest control service to have them inspect. Having a termite inspection by a trained professional can determine if you have termites and develop a treatment plan to get rid of them or help you prevent termites.

How To Remove Termites in a House?

A pest control expert spraying termite pesticide in a house

You may be wondering how to remove termites in a house. There are many ways to do this, but hiring a professional pest control company is the most common and effective method. These companies will come out and inspect your home for termites and then treat the affected areas with pesticides. This will kill the termites and prevent them. If you have a serious infestation, the company may also recommend fumigation. This is a more extreme measure, but it will get rid of the termites for good.

If you think you might have termites, it’s important to act fast. The longer you wait, the more damage they can do to your home. So you’ll want to locate the termite colony or termite nest, and their food source.

Generally hiring a professional company will cost between $300 and $1000, depending on the severity of the infestation. If you have a minimal infestation, you may be able to get rid of the termites yourself with over-the-counter pesticides. However, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and hire a professional.

Termites can cause a lot of damage to a home. Not only do they eat away at the wooden structures, but they can also damage the home’s foundation and other structural elements. The cost of repairing the damage caused by termites can be expensive, so it’s important to address the problem as soon as you notice it.

Another way to remove termites is to use a natural or organic pesticide. This is a less effective method than employing a professional pesticide. Still, it can be a good option for people concerned about pesticides’ effects on the environment. There are many different types of natural or organic pesticides available, so you should be able to find one that suits your needs.

Another advantage of using a natural or organic pesticide is that it usually costs less than a professional pesticide. However, it’s important to note that these pesticides may not be as effective in getting rid of termites. Therefore, you may need to use them more than once to eliminate the termites completely.

How to Fix Termite Damage in a House

If you find termite damage in your new home, you can fix it yourself if you have the right tools and know what to do. However, you might also need to hire an expert to help you fix the damage and ensure the termites don’t come back.

It can be hard to determine the extent of damage termites have caused to your home. If you think the damage is extensive, it’s best to consult with a specialist. They will be able to tell you how much damage has been done and what needs to be done to repair it.

You likely won’t have a lot of visible damage, but that doesn’t mean that your walls aren’t affected behind the drywall. Because of this, you should always hire a professional termite expert to inspect the inside of your walls and other hard-to-access places on your property. When it comes to your home’s structure, relying on DIY repair strategies for minor infestations simply won’t cut it in terms of providing the security and peace of mind that you deserve.

Extermination fees start at $230 and can go as high as $930, depending on the situation. The typical cost for most homeowners is around $575. Costs vary depending on the size of the house, type of treatment, and how many times treatment is required. For example, if your home needs a high level of treatment and an exterminator sets up a tent over it to fumigate it, this may cost upwards of $2,500.

If the wood in your home is damaged from the infestation, there are two ways to repair it:

  1. Completely replace the wood (brownie points if it’s replaced with a termite-resistant material)
  2. Reinforce the damaged wood with new support boards — a less costly option.

You may also need to call a professional if your house has suffered severe structural damage. These types of repairs would include:

  • Repair framing in your home
  • Reinstall insulation in crawl spaces or the attic
  • Repair and clean small areas with extensive infestation
  • Replace drywall

For wood that termites have tunneled through that is hollow and damaged, these are the most common ways to address the damage:

  1. Wood hardeners can fill holes or gaps in minimally damaged wood to restore its strength.
  2. Wood sealants: Sealants can cut off the air supply to any termites left in damaged wood.
  3. Wood fillers: This is an efficient way of filling cracks in damaged wood.

If the wood damage is superficial, you can repair it with a hardener and sealant. However, if termites have torn through the wood severely, then you’ll likely need to schedule an appointment with a professional termite specialist.

For example, mud tubes or mud tunnels that connect the soil and wood of your home are an indication that destructive subterranean termites have settled in your house, and they can damage your property’s structure.

Depending on the severity of the damage, repairs can range from $500 to $6,000, says HomeAdvisor.

To avoid a worst-case scenario and bypass hefty repair costs, try to put preventative measures in place and spot termites early on.

Can You Sell a House with Termite Damage?

There is no definitive answer, as each situation is unique. Some homeowners may be able to sell a house with termite damage if they have the necessary documentation and proof that the issue has been addressed. Others may not be able to sell at all or may have to lower their asking price significantly. 

>> Find out how to determine home values in your neighborhood

In some cases, the termites may have caused so much damage that the home needs to be rebuilt entirely, in which case it would likely be challenging to find a buyer. Ultimately, it is up to the homeowner to decide if they want to try and sell their home with termite damage and what their best course of action may be. 

When it’s time to sell your house, it can be jarring to find out that there are issues lurking below the surface you were never even aware of. Structural damage may need to be repaired. Mold you didn’t know about will have to be cleaned thoroughly. And if you happen to find out that there is termite damage to your home, that can open up a whole can of worms, or larvae, as it were.

In a worst-case scenario, it is possible that extensive termite damage can severely limit your ability to find a good offer on your house. Depending on the extent of the infestation, these tiny insects can ruin the stability and integrity of a residence. By feeding on the wood in, around, and under your house, termites can create safety hazards that might be costly and difficult to fix. It might only create trouble spots in the home but it could also affect the entire standing structure, especially if you’re living in an older residence constructed mainly out of wood.

You also have to consider the fact that a seller is required by law to disclose termite-related issues. So even if the issues aren’t catastrophic, potential buyers are going to see the word “termites” and jump to their own conclusions.

However, all hope is not lost if you discover your home has extensive termite damage. There are still ways to sell your house, depending how much you’re willing to invest back into it.

Fortunately, there is another option. You can always try and sell your home to a cash buyer, who may be more willing to take on the repairs themselves. This is usually the best option for those who need to sell quickly, as it bypasses the traditional selling process and you can sell your home in as-is condition.

How to Sell a House with Termite Damage in TN

If you’re selling a house with termite damage in TN, it’s important to take the necessary precautions to ensure a smooth sale. First, you’ll need to have the termite damage repaired by a professional. Then, once the repairs are complete, you’ll need to disclose the termite damage to potential buyers. This will allow buyers to make an informed decision about whether or not they want to purchase the house. If a buyer does decide to purchase the home, they will likely need to sign a disclosure stating that they are aware of the termite damage.

>>Would you like to sell your house without a realtor? Find out how! 

Make sure to keep all documentation and receipts of the repairs and termite remediation. Prospective buyers will feel more comfortable purchasing if they see that you have taken care of the problem and repaired any damage. Lastly, it wouldn’t hurt to have a warranty for the repairs and to maybe cover the expense of termite treatments for a certain number of years.

Another way you could sell your house and avoid dealing with termite treatments, and repairs is to sell your house as-is to cash home buyers in Knoxville, Nashville, or Chattanooga. These types of home buyers are typically investors who are looking for properties that they can fix up and re-sell. Because they’re buying the house as-is, you won’t need to make any repairs. This can be a quick and easy way to sell a house fast in Tennessee without worrying about termites or repairs.

Buy a Warranty

A great way to make potential buyers feel better about the future risk of termite infestation is to buy a termite warranty from the pest control company. Many exterminators offer multi-year warranties that will provide a guarantee that termites will not return following treatment. And if they do, the company is on the hook free of charge to remedy the situation.

Just make sure that when you purchase the warranty that it can transfer to new owners if the home is sold.

Be Upfront and Honest

The simple truth is that many buyers are going to see “termite damage” and be wary from the get-go. That makes it all the more important for you as the seller, to be honest, upfront, and proactive about the issue.

When potential buyers come to see the home, show them the specific places where termite damage was identified and how it was remedied. Also, provide them with the paperwork that proves the work was done to a satisfactory conclusion. While you’re at it, provide them with the tips you’ve since learned to make sure termites don’t return to those trouble areas.

In fact, you probably want to compile every single document involving the infestation, extermination, and damage repair in one place so you can present it to buyers anytime. If you don’t have any records, ask the termite company to send you report copies or receipts. It not only keeps you looking honest but it backs you up if things ever end up going to court.

The key is to be positive about the issue as much as possible. Never lie but so long as the damage has been fixed and the bugs have been removed, you can be open about the entire process, what you learned, and how future residents should be in a much better position because of it.

A good rule of thumb is also to get it in writing that you have shared all of this information and that the buyer understands everything that happened. It doesn’t have to be extensive, just a piece of paper that acknowledges everyone is aware of the situation will do.

Conclusion

Selling a house with termite damage can be tricky, but if you take the necessary precautions, you can make it a smooth process. By repairing the damage, disclosing the issue to buyers, and keeping documentation of the repairs, you can give buyers confidence in their purchase. Offering a warranty on the repairs can also be beneficial. Finally, if you want to avoid repairs altogether, you can sell your house as-is to a cash home buyer. Whichever route you choose, make sure you take the necessary steps to ensure a successful sale.

Nexus Homebuyers is a local “we buy houses Nashville”, Knoxville, and Chattanooga home buyer that buys houses all across TN with termite damage. If you need to sell your house quickly and would like to avoid the stress and expense of making repairs, call us today to get a FREE offer for your property. We look forward to working with you! 

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