Home Buying in 92821>Question Details

Katherina, Home Buyer in Orange County, VT

Is a seller responsible for repainting areas after termite work has been done?

Asked by Katherina, Orange County, VT Wed May 21, 2008

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The termite company that I use will paint any replaced wood when they do the repairs, (either with white primer, or paint supplied by the home seller) but not all companies do it.

I have always felt that painting the repaired wood pieces is part of completing job, so that it looks like it did at the time that the buyer wrote the offer.

Many times the termite work has not been done prior to marketing the house, so the buyer has not seen the report until agreeing to buy the house. It should be negotiated in the "repair request" that the work be done and "painted to match". If all the contingencies have already been removed by the time you realize that the seller was not planning to paint it, it usually isn't a big EXPENSE, but it's a pain in the butt to get it done.

As a buyer's agent, if I failed to suggest to my client that he request it to be done, I would probably hire a handyman and pay him to paint it myself (then I would add it to my list of mistakes to never make again!)

Hope that helps -

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1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed May 21, 2008
I would be common practice for the termite company to re-paint the damaged area to a white "paint ready" color. When I work with the seller and termite company I always ask the seller to provide the paint to match the existing or have the termite company do so. Without looking at your contract with the Seller, I could not answer your question.
Web Reference: http://www.joehoms.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 21, 2008
No, the seller is not responsible unless you've addressed it in the contract or negotiate it in the Request for Repairs and they have agreed to it. It is usually left unpainted so that you can walk through and see that he work has been done. (Not hidden under fresh paint.)

Exterminators aren't painters and therefore, most companies won't go near re-painting.

It seems odd, but that is the custom in SoCal.
Web Reference: http://www.OCBeachBlog.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri May 23, 2008
Hi Katherina,

It depends on what your contract says. MOST (yet not all) termite reports clearly state, there will be NO painting done by that company. However in CA most of agetns use the same CAR contract which says the property is sold in the "present physical" conditon as at the time of acceptance of offer. Repairs, i.e. termite work is to be done in a good and skillful manner. If the wood was painted to begin with, one would expect it to be painted afterwards, if not by the temite company, then another service provider.

Hope this helps, Lynda Eisenmann
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed May 21, 2008
Katherine -

Most termite companies will state that they are not "painters" and therefore will only repair damaged areas and this can include replacing wood with "primed" wood.

Typically, a buyer should expect the house to be put back in the same presentation/order as it was when they made the contract. If the board/siding/etc were painted before, post repairs the expectation would be that it would be returned to the original state of appearance. Most contracts read that the work is to be "completed" and documented for the buyer.

Web Reference: http://www.TalkToCJ.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed May 21, 2008

Rest assured, unlike what Myke said, termites are a reality in California. I have never purchased or sold a home that did not require some termite treatment. So that should not be a concern.

Generally speaking, the termite company does the repairs but not the painting. If you want the seller to do the painting, then put this in your request for repairs. Assuming you are still in your contingency period, this will create a strong negotiating tool to get the painting done. Otherwise, you will have to do it yourself, as it is not customary for the seller to do this.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed May 21, 2008
The pest company (termite) usually states in its report and bid that it will not be responsible for painting when it replaces lumber. As a matter of practice, the seller often does not repaint those surfaces. As others have said, one has to read the contract, but as to the gentleman who said : "the first question I would have to ask, is why are you still buying the home?" he obviously has never been in Southern California, where it is rare to find a home without some termite infestation.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed May 21, 2008

As Debt Free Dave says.......restored to the original condition
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 5, 2008
I'm a owner of a Termite Co.. The reason Termite companies don't paint to match other than prime white is for reason #1 I had a home owner that had extra paint that she begged me to have my crew guy paint over some fascia that we replaced,two weeks later she called to complain that the paint didn't match and she was going to make a state complaint if this was not corrected by me at my expense. Due to the fact that we had laid hands on the finished painting then i felt it became my problem So I sent out a licensed paint contrator at my (exspense) he obtained a color chip when he returned to do the job she decided that she wanted to change all the wood work a different color at my exspense again. #2 When you primer the paint the seller/buyer can see exactly what was replaced. Finish painting has nothing to do with completing the job.
Mountain View Termite
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 5, 2008
House needs to be in the same condition at closing as it was when you made the otter.
Web Reference: http://GetPrequalified.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 21, 2008
I'm certainly glad I don't live in southern california then.
Most sane people would see "termite infestation" and never look back.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 21, 2008
If you're buying a home, and it came out during inspections that there was a termite problem - the first question I would have to ask, is why are you still buying the home?

THe answer to your question however, depends on the contract. Typically - i would certainly hope that your contract is structured in such a way that the seller is responsible for repairs that are a result of inspections - or that at the very least, when this problem was found - you negotiated with the seller to pay for the repairs.
That being said - I would argue that repainting is simply a part of performing the remedy to the inspection, and yes - the seller should pay for that. At the very least they should run down to the home depot and buy a can of paint, and spend 20 minutes making it look nice.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 21, 2008
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