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Who Pays For Termite Damage When Buying A Home

Hey there! So you’re in the market to buy a new home? That’s so exciting! Home ownership is a big milestone.

But here’s something you need to keep in mind – termites. I know, not the most fun topic. But it’s an important one. Termites do billions of dollars in damage every year in the US alone. And they love to secretly munch away on homes.

So who pays to handle termite issues when buying a home? That’s what we’ll dig into today. I’ll walk you through why termite inspections matter, typical responsibilities in different states, and how buyers and sellers can protect themselves. Let’s get started!

Why Termite Inspections Matter

Termites are tiny insects that feast on wood, including the wood structures of your home. Annoying little bugs, right?

Well, they do over $30 billion in damage each year in the US. Yep, billions with a B!

Termites are sneaky too. They can secretly damage homes for years before any visible signs appear. Some key signs eventually include:

  • Shelter tubes along walls or foundations
  • Hollow sounding wood
  • Sagging floors
  • Pinholes in drywall

Catching termites early with inspections keeps problems small. Trying to sell a home with major termite damage can be a nightmare.

Certain types of loans require termite inspections too. VA and FHA loans are two examples. Getting an inspection before closing gives you peace of mind as a buyer.

Ok, so we’ve covered why termite inspections matter. Now let’s look at who typically pays.

Typical Responsibilities

When it comes to termite inspections, the seller usually foots the bill. Costs range from $100 to $200 on average. The size of the home and local rates impact price.

If the buyer pays for the initial inspection, they can use that info to negotiate the purchase price. And they establish a relationship with a treatment provider.

What about treatment for active termites? That also falls to the seller in most cases. Treating active infestations costs $1,300 to $3,000 typically.

For preventative treatments, the buyer usually pays after purchase. Things like moving mulch away from the foundation or applying preventative chemicals.

If termites have done damage, the seller pays for repairs. They need to fix things up before closing.

Now let’s look at a few key states and norms around termite inspection costs.

State-Specific Guidance


In Texas, the seller typically pays for the termite inspection. Costs range from $100 to $150 on average. Texas has a high risk of termites given the warm climate. Annual termite control runs around $214 for a 1,200 square foot home.

New Jersey:

In New Jersey, the buyer traditionally covers termite inspection costs. Companies like Terminix and Orkin offer free inspections. They make money if the buyer signs up for treatments. Inspections range from $50 to $150. An inspector has to check the attic for drywood termites.

South Carolina:

In South Carolina, the buyer normally pays for the inspection as well. But sellers can choose to cover the cost during negotiations. Average inspections cost $100 to $250 in the state. Termite damage has to be disclosed by sellers.

Ok, now let’s move on to tips for buyers and sellers!

Recommendations for Buyers

As a home buyer, here are some key steps to take regarding termites:

  • Review the purchase contract terms closely
    • Make sure you understand who pays for what
  • Consider getting your own inspection
    • The seller’s might not be as thorough
  • Understand risks of skipping inspections
    • Expensive repairs down the road
  • Use inspections to request price reductions
    • But only for new negotiations needed
  • Establish a relationship with a treatment provider
    • Ensures continued protection

Don’t be afraid to spend $100 or so for peace of mind. Catching termite problems early saves money and headaches.

Recommendations for Sellers

If you’re selling your home, you’ll want to take proactive steps as well:

  • Disclose any previous termite issues
    • Be upfront about problems from the start
  • Get an inspection before listing
    • Make repairs before buyers inspect
  • Understand your state laws
    • Many require termite damage disclosure
  • Repair existing damage before sale
    • Fix structural or cosmetic issues
  • Provide treatment for active infestations
    • Get proof of treatment for buyers
  • Offer preventative treatment receipt
    • Keeps home termite-free after sale

Taking these steps helps your home sell faster and for more money. Don’t try to hide termite damage and hope for the best. Fix problems the right way.

Alright, you’re almost a termite expert! But let’s cover signs of termites and prevention tips too.

Warning Signs of Termites

Here are some key signs that your home may have termites:

  • Mud tubes or shelter tubes on walls/foundations
  • Pinholes and cracks in drywall
  • Hollow sounding wood when tapped
  • Sagging floors or ceilings
  • Swarming winged termites inside

If you see these warning signs, contact a professional inspector right away. Catching infestations early is critical.

Preventing Infestations

You can take steps to avoid termite problems too:

  • Remove mulch, wood, and debris near your home’s exterior
  • Fix any moisture issues such as leaks
  • Seal cracks in your home’s foundation
  • Get regular professional inspections
  • Install termite bait systems

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to termite control!


Now you know all about termite inspection responsibilities when buying a home.

  • Termites can secretly damage homes and cost thousands in repairs
  • Inspections help catch issues early
  • Sellers typically pay for inspections and repairs
  • Both buyers and sellers need to take proactive measures

I hope this guide gives you confidence when navigating termite issues as a home buyer or seller. Know your risks, get qualified pros, and take action quickly.

And remember to think positive – a termite-free home awaits! Reach out anytime if you need a trusty real estate tip. I’ve got your back.

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