If you are not in contract or not; yes and no. In today's buying environment a short sale seller can agree to clear the pest and their bank/lien holder will deny your request. With a bank owned home sometimes the bank will do repairs to clear pest for VA purchaser's. This is now more of a norm for them today, however; they don't like open ended items, so having a fixed amount is very helpful. To find out the pest issues, though you have to have an inspection or be provided one from the seller. Be cautious if the seller provides a pest report. Some pest inspector have a more stringent criteria or other inspectors seem to have poor eye sight. Some pest inspectors offer a cost analysis and others just offer the reported findings. If you are purchasing a home from a regular seller you can add a WPA (wood pest addendum) that spells out who pays for the pest clearance. If you attempt to use a WPA on a bank owned home your chances of acceptance go down exponentially, especially if you are competing with other offers. Your VA lender will require a pest clearance and you should get your own pest inspection from a very reputable company. The contract wording varies depending on who is selling. I work with many VA buyers and can tell you this type of negotiation is critically important and needs to take place up front. My lender and I also pay for appraisal and inspections as a standard of care for our clients.