I am responding to answers to my own question posted earlier, answers that basically say it's not necessary to have oneâ€™s own termite guy check out a property, or words to that effect.
Here is what my own procedures for ALWAYS getting a 2nd opinion for termite clearance just provided for one my buyers in just one of my recent transactions. it seems that virtually EVERY ONE of my transactions have similar, smaller issues, but this one is major!
Transaction Situation: Seller's agent delivered a clear termite report (in California, that means free from drywood termite, subterranean termites, and dryrot).
According to my normal procedures of "trust everyone, but cut the deck" :-) , I had my own trusted inspector check it out. He found evidence of ALL of the Big Three... dryrot, drywood termites and subs... Wow! A grand slam! Cost to my buyer, if I had just assumed that the seller-provided report was accurate? Well, we don't know for sure yet (opening another exterior wall today). but it appears that the MINIMUM cost involved will exceed $10,000.
Maybe someday my buyers would have found out (hopefully before even more hidden damage).
Maybe someday my buyers would have been able to go after the termite inspector, assuming that the termite company were still in business, and assuming that the statute of limitations hadnâ€™t run out.
But at what cost in time and legal costs for my buyers??.
Meanwhile, TODAY, my buyer is $10,000 ahead from where they would have been without the 2nd opinion. The inspection cost the buyer $85â€¦ a pretty good return, Iâ€™d say!
Some agents are incensed that I â€œbring my ownâ€, but I come from the â€œold schoolâ€ that puts my fiduciary responsibilities to my buyer clients above â€œgoing along to get alongâ€.
It is regrettable for the seller that HIS property has termite problems (and no cap on repair costs in the contract with my buyer). However, it would be MORE regrettable if the problems had been shifted to my buyer by my lack of diligence!
It amazes me that most agents would never dream of relying on a physical inspection done by the sellerâ€™s chosen inspector (gee whizzâ€¦ perhaps a clogged dishwasher might be missed :-), but accept termite reports (where the BIG money is) done the same way, and accept them without a quiver.
My answer to one agent who exasperatedly asked me why in the world I wanted my own inspection, when she already had one was a two-part answer to her:
The first part of the answer was verbal â€œâ€¦ Why donâ€™t YOU?
And, the second part came when my termite inspector found 15 slats with dryrot in the patio cover, slats that were replaced at the sellerâ€™s expense. â€˜Nuff saidâ€¦