Home Buying in 90066>Question Details

Kim, Home Buyer in Lake Forest, CA

Termite tenting & repairs...who is responsible to pay?..The buyer or seller???

Asked by Kim, Lake Forest, CA Wed Oct 9, 2013

Even though the house was mutually agreed upon to buy "as is" the seller is offering to pay 1700 of the 2800 bill for the tenting & repairs.
Who is really responsible to pay for the tenting & termite damage repair under these circumstances! Aren't those basic safety issues the seller would pay for in full? Thank you!

Help the community by answering this question:


Hi Kim,

Termite repairs are negotiable, it really depends on what your contract says. If you agreed upon "as is" and did not state in the contract that the seller pays for termite repairs, then the offer does not have to pay any of the termite repairs,

Feel free to contact me anytime via phone/text at (310) 717-1321 or email at JamieTian@RodeoRE.com if there is anything else I can assist with!

Jamie Tian
Rodeo Realty
(310) 717-1321
BRE #01920120
Web Reference: http://www.JamieTian.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 1, 2015
I agree that termites are really annoying. Have you made an agreement with the person you're working with? See if you can get the terms in writing about who is going to pay for it. Have you talked to any contractors about that? http://www.bucksmontgomerypestinspection.com/
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 1, 2015
Hi Kim,

The answer to the question is that you get what you negotiate,usually the seller will pay ,but they sometimes put a cap on the cost of the repairs ,since you bought the house as is ,ii is nice that the seller is willing to pay $1700.00 .He is not required to pay anything based on your contract ,good luck !
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 20, 2014
If you are a buyer and have a mortgage and there are termites in the house, the seller needs to take care of the issue. Otherwise, the bank will not lend you money to close. I would not advise a client to pay for any repair to a home until it is closed, as it is not the buyers home.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 7, 2013
I am in the same situation. So you are saying I can not do a final purchase until the termites are taken care of? I have lived here over 21 years and told the landlord over 20 years ago of the termites. As a renter I refused to do the tenting. She always refused to sell. She was going to give it to her son! She now wants to sell "AS IS" right now! Can I now insist she pays, being that I can not purchase until it is done? She says she has buyers lined up! Can she do this?
Flag Mon Dec 8, 2014
It sounds like the sellers is willing to pay $1700.00 for what he does not have to pay, if your contract said "as - is" ,he is going above and beyond what he is required to do ,however you can always ask for him to pay it all.Good Luck !
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 26, 2013
Hello Kim,

In California we do not really have "as is" sales.

The correct term is "as disclosed".

Providing the seller discloses all material facts about the home and buyer still agrees to move on with the sale, then the home is truly being sold "as disclosed".

Now, termite work can be tricky, the seller may not have known all the termite damage until the inspection was completed. It would be nice for the seller to pay for tenting and repairs recommended by the termite company.

Termite work should always be addressed as a separate item in the purchase agreement, because the damage can be hidden, and not revealed until the inspection is done.

If you want this home and are using financing and the seller is only willing to pay part of the cost, you have to dig in your pocket to pay the balance. If you do this you can try and reduce the purchase price by the amount you pay out of pocket for the termite repairs.

Best of Luck to You!!!!
Kawain Payne, Realtor
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 24, 2013
No one is responsible to pay. But the lender probably will not lend on the house until it is done, once the termite issue has been identified.

So then someone will have to pay. Keep in mind agreeing to buy a property "as is" is not valid in CA unless the seller has disclosed all of the imperfections. Once the information has been made known you have 3 days to accept the house as it is, make a counter offer or walk away.

Being that the purchase price was negotiated "as is" and most homes have termites. It may be a reasonable offer for the seller to pay the $1700.

Also you are free to find someone who will do the work for less.

The bottom line is that being that you were not aware of the termite problem at the time of the offer, you can counter offer for the seller to pay that. That is what CA law seems to think is fair. The seller though is free to refuse and your recourse is to to walk . The seller in this case would not be entitled to keep your deposit nor would they be entitled to any damages.

Is there not Realtor involved?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 24, 2013
I know this is an old thread, but I have a question. The seller has a full-price backup offer so they are looking for a way out of the contract. Are they obligated to do the repairs if I pay for it? My lender won't close if the repairs aren't done. Thanks.
Flag Fri Mar 4, 2016
Read your contract. Even though it says "as-is" there is usually a specific line item for termite repairs. If it was not check off or addressed specifically, then it is negotiable.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 13, 2013
No - "AS IS" means "AS IS".

If you are at the point where you are negotiating the inspection issues, you likely agreed and signed the contract to purchase the home "AS IS". If you are still within this period, you don't "have" to purchase the property if you are uncomfortable with the issues uncovered, but "AS IS" means that you knew upfront that the seller was not going to fix any problems.

Typically, regardless of what you find, it's your responsibility to repair it - it doesn't matter if the issues are related to safety, foundation problems, structrual issues, or pests, etc. This is especially true with REO properties - they rarely if ever budge on this. I'm guessing you are purchasing this from a private owner - as a bank/lender would be unlikely to haggle with you and split the cost of termite mitigation.

Now, would a seller be wise to compromise on this in order to ultimately get their property sold? The answer depends on A. the severity of the issue and the likilihood that they will ultimately be able to find a buyer willing to deal with the problem, B. the cost of mitigating the problem, C. the likilihood that financing can be obtained in light of the problem, and D. whether the cost to rectify the issue is already factored into the selling price.

The seller doesn't "have" to fix anything for you. They can agreed to fix everything, some things, or absolutely nothing. The ball is in your court whether or not to agree, request additional concessions/repairs, or to walk away and find something else depending on their answer.

Hope that helps!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 11, 2013
Well,that depends upon how your contract was written.
There is a section that outlines this information in the California Residential Purchase agreement.

Actually it's a point of "negotiations" the seller can pay all, part...or none at all, depending upon what you agreed to.

Please contact your Realtor so that you can go over your contract and look at what was agreed to.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 11, 2013
Hi Kim,
No home purchase is really "as is." These things should have been clarified in your original accepted purchase agreement.

In your accepted purchase agreement:
- Did buyer request termite report paid by Seller?
- In accepted purchase agreement did buyer state that termite work paid for by Seller(no limit in cost)?
- Was termite inspection or termite repair/replacement costs waived?
- Did seller stipulate in accepted purchase agreement that would only maximum of $1,700- for repairs.

Review your accepted purchase agreement and escrow instructions. Review if termite report stipulated in agreement and who is to pay for what. Your Realtor should be able to interpret who is responsible for termite report and repair/replacement costs. Everything should be in writing before escrow was opened. Hopefully this helps.

Gail Mercedes Cole
EXP Realty Marina del Rey
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 10, 2013
The purchase contract and addendums, if any, dictate which party pays for termite work. If there was no language in the contract, it seems the seller is meeting you more than half way -
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 9, 2013
Kim, all of this is usually avoided when an experienced agent takes care of the purchase offer at the beginning of the process. In other words, if a Wood Pest Addendum (CAR Form WPA) had been included in the offer. The WPA stipulates who pays for what.

Dave Ockun, below, stated it clearly.

If there is no such stipulation in the contract, none of the parties are responsible for repairs. You may end up paying for most or everything if you want the home and are getting a loan. Or, you could just walk away. You're limited as to time, your investigation period, also stipulated in the purchase offer.

The seller appears to be making a concession, but, talk to your agent. At this point, you have options. Some you may not like.

Everything starts with planning.

Hope everyone works out.

Douglas Lagos
Coldwell Banker Residential
Tel. (319) 463-8088
CA BRE #01921046
Web Reference: http://Douglaslagos.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 9, 2013
This can be negotiated both ways and I would suggest working with your agent to try and come to common terms.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 9, 2013
All properties are sold "as is", subject only to your rights to investigate during your contingency period. The seller has no obligation to make any repairs unless the contract calls for it. As far as the termite work, the responsibility will fall to whatever was negotiated in the contract. It is customary that sellers pay for Section 1 (active infestation) work but it is not unusual at all for a seller to cap the costs or delete termite all together. Refer to your contract to verify who is paying for what....
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 9, 2013
It has to be negotiated up front who pays for termite. It's not necessarily the sellers responsibility. VA is the only loan type where the lender requires a termite clearance to close if termite is left out of the contract.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 9, 2013
This will depend upon your original purchase contract and counter offers if there were any. It is completely negotiable. Many times the seller pays them and it sounds as if the seller has agreed to pay a portion of them. I have had deals where the buyer pays them completely so it really depends upon how the offer and counter offers were written. Do you have an agent representing you? They should be your first contact method on the question or questions you may have as they will have access to your offer and any counter offers that address this.

Good luck and have a great day,
Heather Paul, Broker Associate, Realtor
Coldwell Banker
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 9, 2013
You must revert back to your agreed upon contract. If the seller has agreed to pay up to $1700, then that is what they are responsible for. Anything over that would be Buyer's responsibility.

You may want to get another bid from another company to get your costs down.

Termite tenting and repair is a negotiable item. In some cases, the Seller won't pay for it at all and if it is required by your lender, the Buyer would need to pay for it and have the work done before the close of escrow.

Revert back to your contract.

Good luck!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 9, 2013
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