Home Buying in Roswell>Question Details

Andy, Home Buyer in Roswell, GA

Termite closing letter-- is it enough?

Asked by Andy, Roswell, GA Wed Dec 19, 2007

Our offer was accepted on a house and we close in late Jan. One special stipulation was that seller is to provide a termite closing letter. I'm not sure what that entails, though, and want to make sure we don't have problems. The house is 25 years old, frame. No termite bond currently, and disclosed as no treatements in the pat 5 years. Our home inspection found some evidence of minor treatment from insects in the garage a long time ago, and an area in the attic where the paper backing of the gypsum board was not present, possibly suggesting previous termite damage.

Does the termite letter require the home owner to have a qualified termite inspection performed/? Is this sufficient to believe that there are currently no termite problems, or unresolved damage from previous termite issues?

Help the community by answering this question:


Hi Andy -

The seller is required to provide a termite clearance letter dated not more than 30 days prior. This stipulates that the home is transferring free of active infestation. A licensed vendor recognized by the state will complete that. If there is an active infestation, they will have to treat it. Don’t be surprised if past infestation is noted, it’s common in GA. I routinely get a “repair and retreat” bond for my clients, look into that as you should keep a bond on the home.

Hank Miller, SRA, ABR
Associate Broker & Certified Appraiser
REMAX Greater Atlanta
Web Reference: http://www.hrmiller.com
6 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 19, 2007
Hi All -

Just to clarify my comments - The buyer did state that a stip placed responsibility for the termite letter on the seller. Given that, it's on the seller regardless of what type of P&S is used.

I agree with Andy - unfortunately there are shady guys out there. The best circumstance is for the buyer to order it and the seller to pay for it.

Web Reference: http://www.hrmiller.com
5 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 19, 2007
The GAR purchase and sale agreement no longer requires the SELLER to provide anything related to termiites. The BUYER is responsible for TERMITE inspections as stated in the current GAR contract.

However, as Andy mentioned in his question, he added a special stip requiring the seller to get a termite inspection. In my opinion that was a mistake. Sorry, Andy, but I have to call 'em like I see 'em. Here is why.

Prior to January 2007, the GAR contract stated that the seller had to provide the termite report. Now the Buyer must do so according to the contract. The reason the contract wa changed because believe it or not, there are some unethical sellers in the world. They would hire a termite compnay to do an inspection and if the report came back with a mention of termites the seller would order another company to come out. He would do so until he found a company that did NOT mention termites in the report. Now which report do you think the seller would deleiver to the buyer? Exactly.

That is why you want to get the termite inspection yourself!!!!!
Web Reference: http://www.thenelmsteam.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 19, 2007
A termite letter should tell you that there are no ACTIVE infestations. It does not mean that there is any protection against future infestations or past infestations. You can still buy the home, but I would have it treated and bonded as soon as you move in.
Web Reference: http://www.jrjarvis.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 19, 2007
Joshua Jarvis, Real Estate Pro in Duluth, GA

If you purchased the home under due diligence or with a right to inspect you can still have your own termite company come out to do the inspection. It's $75.00 for a termite inspection.

You can also find out who is performing the inspection for the seller and ask to attend. If the seller has nothing to hide this should not be a problem.

Want to talk to a termite professional? http://www.geraldsexterminators.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 19, 2007
Good catch there HANK...I might add that in the overall situation, The Buyer should pick the Termite Inspector and walk with him/her.
Web Reference: http://lantierrealty.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 19, 2007
I agree with Steve Miller...you as a buyer should pull out all the stops to have a termite inspection and follow the inspector around to be sure he is checking in all the right places. Good luck and glad to see you are paying attention
Web Reference: http://lantierrealty.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 19, 2007
UNfortunately Hank may be incorrect in his answer if you are using the standard GAR Purchase and Sale Agreement as your "contract". There are a few ares where inspections are mentioned, however, it is now, according to the GAR contract the responsibility of the BUYER to preform the termite inspection. Rightfully so,, I might add. Look at it this way. In the event the "se;;er" is to provide the letter, and has a "friend" do the inspection, there are certainly opportunities for you, the buyer, to be misled as to the real situation with termites. By you ordrering the termite letter, you choose the inspector or company, you pay them, and they work for you. No incentive for them to be anything other than totally honest in their assesment of your home. Please discuss this with your agent and hopefully he/she will advise you to order the letter yourself so you have an accurate picture of the homes condition. Believe me, it'w worth the money even if you pay for it yourself. - Steve
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 19, 2007
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