Why You Need to Address Pest Problems Before Selling Your Home

When selling your home, a pest infestation can be a dealbreaker for buyers, even in competitive markets. Find out how to take a proactive stance against pest infestations when selling your home.

Why You Need to Address Pest Problems Before Selling Your Home Close
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Why You Need to Address Pest Problems Before Selling Your Home

Posted by Gary Ashton on Thursday, July 25th, 2019 at 12:56pm.

Addressing Pest Problems When Selling Your HomeUnless people are looking for a fixer upper and looking to snap up a low-cost home, the average homebuyer wants to visit a potential home and envision themselves living there with few, if any, repairs. Many desire move-in ready condition and their ideal space does not generally include cockroaches, termites, water bugs, rodents or other pests. When a potential homebuyer is looking for a home, signs of a pest problem can be a huge turnoff. It can take longer to sell a home and get full value for it when it is infested with pests.

Understand why earlier is better when it comes to taking care of a pest problem in your home.

How Long Will It Take to Sell Your Home?

Unless your home is in tip-top shape, it can take more time than anticipated to sell. There are many factors that go into getting ready to sell and the condition of the home is a significant aspect. If a pest problem is an issue, this can undermine the value of a home and turn off prospective homebuyers looking to buy a Spring Hill home.

Pests and Your Health

How long are you willing to live in a home with a pest problem? Many people have allergic reactions and are sensitive to pest feces and more. An uncontrolled pest problem can potentially exacerbate health issues and allergies, leading to additional doctor visits and health complications. A clean and sanitary environment supports the health of homeowners and family members. For homes that linger on the market, home sellers continue to put their health and that of their family on the line when they ignore a pest problem.

Dust mites are hard to see but have become the second leading cause of allergic reactions. Dust mites have been linked to asthma, allergic rhinitis and eczema. It has been found that their droppings and carcasses have a protein that triggers the reaction. Individuals with these health conditions can improve their quality of life by addressing early signs of a pest problem.

Other pests, aside from dust mites, may trigger allergic reactions or more serious health issues. Cockroaches can trigger an allergic reaction and cause food poisoning through their saliva and excrement. Mice can do more than contaminate food products. They can transmit the Hantavirus and salmonellosis. It is important to consider all of the consequences of ignoring a pest problem.

Pests and Your Home Value

Termites can pose a significant problem. These destructive pests consume wood and will cause structural damage to a home. Signs of termite damage include sagging floors, visible holes and wood that, when tapped, sounds hollow. It may also be possible to visibly see the shed wings of the insects and tan fecal pellets that look like sawdust. Beams and supportive structures can be destroyed by a termite infestation. This will reduce your home value and the structural integrity of your home. When a homeowner ignores the issue, it will come to a head when the property is assessed and an interested party may want to buy. Extensive termite damage can greatly reduce expected home value. It is in the best interest of the seller to address pest issues in their initial stages and decrease the likelihood of extensive repairs.

Pests and Contingencies on Offers

Home buyers expect to purchase homes that are pest-free. When they find out that your home has pests, they're very likely to ask for remediation of the problem. This can slow up the home sale process. When the buyer asks for the problem to be remediated, this is called a contingency. Contingencies are a requirement of the home sale contract. If the seller does not agree to the contingency, the contract may be canceled. 

Most sellers choose to remediate the problem rather than lose the home sale. Sometimes discovery of a problem like a pest infestation leads the buyer to make a lower offer. 

The best way for the seller to avoid this kind of problem is by remediating the pest infestation before putting the house up for sale. If the problem doesn't exist when the buyer makes the offer, the buyer is more likely to make a good offer. The house is likely to sell faster, for more money, and with fewer problems. 

Homebuyers and Red Flags

There are many red flags of a pest problem. Potential homebuyers may become aware of odd smells, dead bugs indoors, pest droppings, evidence of nesting, holes and termite damage. These concerns can lead to further investigation, potential headaches and additional costs when it is financially difficult to do something about it. In addition, living with pests can lead to a range of health issues and decrease quality of life. An experienced exterminator can identify and eradicate existing pest problems.


Gary Ashton

The Ashton Real Estate Group of RE/MAX Advantage

The #1 RE/MAX team in the World!

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