Is it common in your market for the buyer to have their own termite inspection, even if the seller provides one? Think it's a good idea, or not?

Asked by Terry Hunter, Newport Beach, CA Fri Oct 8, 2010

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Vicki Lloyd, , Lake Forest, CA
Fri Oct 8, 2010
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It isn't common, but if a buyer has concerns about the inspection report provided by the seller, it's a good idea. Most termite companies will do a "2nd opinion" inspection at a reduced (or free) price.
Web Reference:  http://LiveLakeForest.com
0 votes
Constantine…, , San Diego, CA
Fri Oct 8, 2010
I think it's redundant. Unless the buyer wants the seller to pay for termite work and the buyer's brother-in-law is a termite inspector/repair specialist!!
1 vote
Terry Hunter, Agent, Newport Beach, CA
Fri Oct 15, 2010
I am responding to answers to my own question posted earlier, answers that basically say it's not necessary to have one’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 hadn’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 $85… a pretty good return, I’d say!
Some agents are incensed that I “bring my own”, but I come from the “old school” that puts my fiduciary responsibilities to my buyer clients above “going along to get along”.
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 seller’s chosen inspector (gee whizz… 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 “… Why don’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 seller’s expense. ‘Nuff said…
Web Reference:  http://www.USRiviera.com
0 votes
Sergio Herna…, , Naples, FL
Fri Oct 15, 2010
Yes, it is common and yes, it is a good idea!
Web Reference:  http://www.golftobeach.com
0 votes
Tammy Hayes, Agent, Port Charlotte, FL
Fri Oct 15, 2010
I would recommend that the buyer get all of their own inspections - home inspection, termite inspection, and defective drywall inspection. Termite inspections in our area are usually free.

Tammy Hayes, Realtor
Sandals Realty, Punta Gorda, FL
0 votes
Tammy Hayes, Agent, Port Charlotte, FL
Fri Oct 15, 2010
I would recommend that the buyer get all of their own inspections - home inspection, termite inspection, and defective drywall inspection. Termite inspections in our area are usually free.

Tammy Hayes, Realtor
Sandals Realty, Punta Gorda, FL
0 votes
jo, , Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles, CA
Fri Oct 15, 2010
If the inspector is Lic. and stand behind the word they did, what need would there be for a 2nd one to be done?
0 votes
Karen Parsons…, Agent, Laguna Beach, CA
Fri Oct 15, 2010
I don't normally do this, as long as the inspector is licensed and stands behind their work...most come with a warranty. So there is really no need.

K
0 votes
Desari Jabbar, Agent, Stone Mountain, GA
Fri Oct 8, 2010
I think its always better for the buyer to have an independent vendor to do all appraisals, termite inspections and home inspections.

Best of luck to you!
Web Reference:  http://www.DesariJabbar.com
0 votes
Maria Morton, Agent, Kansas City, MO
Fri Oct 8, 2010
Depends. Who did the sellers pay to do the wood boring insect inspection? When was it done? What were the results?
Web Reference:  http://www.mariasellskc.com
0 votes
Jo Rossley, , Los Angeles County, CA
Fri Oct 8, 2010
I think it is a great idea. I work in escrow, and have seen many buyers get their own second opinion. Sometimes it can even save the seller some money! Just do yourself a favor and do not drive yourself crazy with either termite report. It can get very complicated. Most seller's are very honest. FYI-many times the seller uses a company that they have a contract with, so in the event work has to be done, it will be under their warranty. I hope this helps! Good luck!
0 votes
Lisa Thorik…, , San Diego, CA
Fri Oct 8, 2010
It's a good idea to get your own opinion. Many companies offer free inspection. Keep in mind that regular inspection and treatment for pests is part of ongoing maintenance. Find a company you like and set up a service agreement.
Web Reference:  http://www.lchometeamsd.com
0 votes
Emily Knell, Agent, Huntington Beach, CA
Fri Oct 8, 2010
If the seller's termite inspection comes back & the buyer & buyer agent feel that the quote for work needed sounds quite high, then I would suggest to the buyer to pay the $65 to obtain their own inspection & work estimate.

EmilyKnell1@yahoo.com
562-430-3053 cell
0 votes
, ,
Fri Oct 8, 2010
One other inspection that you might consider is a Sewer Inspection. A broken or cracked sewer line may cost up to $50,000 to repair. Cost about $250.00 to $400.00.
Web Reference:  http://www.umboc.com
0 votes
Letty Watt, Agent, Anaheim Hills, CA
Fri Oct 8, 2010
Seller usually provides the termite Inspection, buyer can get his own Inspection and compared is always a good idea most companies they do the inspection report for free.
Web Reference:  http://www.lettywatt.com
0 votes
Connie Bramb…, Agent, Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Fri Oct 8, 2010
Hi Terry,
No, not really common, however if the buyer wants to use a certain termite company the need just specify that in the purchase contract. If it is not in the contract that way and you think the inspector did not find everything, just call them and voice your concerns. Have them meet you at the home and go over your concerns. Remember the termite company is responsible for their report being complete, question them not the seller or the sellers agent. I think you will feel better about talking to the termite people directly.
Connie Bramble
Prudential CA Realty
714-337-8718
0 votes
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