*By Keith Loria
Dealing with pests and termites can be a nuisance for homeowners. However, if you’re in the process of getting ready to put your home on the market, they can be an even bigger headache. Whether its mice, termites or bed bugs, it’s crucial to tackle the problem quickly, especially before prospective buyers come to a showing or open house.
If you’re dealing with mice, you can set traps yourself, but keep in mind that traps won’t eliminate the problem. While it is possible to get rid of mice, you may need to invest some money and bring in a professional who can figure out where they’re coming from and cut off their access point. Once their access point to the house is cut off, they will go away.
When it comes to larger animals, if you suspect that something has taken up residence in your home, do a perimeter search and listen for noises in the chimney and attic. Varmint such as raccoons and squirrels can be removed humanely by wildlife organizations, as can birds sitting in nests around your property. Depending on the state you live in, a nearby noisy owl may be off-limits.
For those with more prolific pests and bugs such as termites, the best solution is to call an exterminator as soon as possible. Termites can cause major damage to the wood in your home, so it is imperative to have them exterminated as soon as they are discovered.
By law, a seller is required to disclose “all known facts that materially affect the value of the property,” which means you can’t just let pests such as termites slide and hope the inspector doesn’t pick up on them.
When it comes to termites, if you have controlled the infestation, repaired all damage and kept up with your ongoing termite protection agreement, then previous termite damage should not affect your ability to sell your home. However, it may be difficult to sell a house with termite damage that has not been repaired, or an infestation that has not been controlled.
In today’s market, it’s hard enough to find a willing buyer only to have the deal sour when a negative termite inspection comes back.
Carpenter ants are another nuisance and a good exterminator will know how to treat and eliminate the infestation. One thing about carpenter ants is they only live on wet rotting wood, so it’s a sign that the home has a water problem that is causing rot. Solve the water problem and the ants will not survive.
Unfortunately, bugs and rodents are a part of life and there’s no end-all solution that will ensure that a home is pest free. The best you can do before putting your home on the market is to eliminate all you can and deal with any in-your-face issues. Nature will have to take care of the rest.
For more information about dealing with pests, contact our office today.