What is my recourse if a seller's termite work completed report states work completed for work not done?

Asked by NOC buyer, Seal Beach, CA Tue Jun 19, 2012

I have a VA loan which requires the seller to fix termite report related issues. The work completed report states work completed by others in a few items regarding fungus and termite damage. The seller has stated they have receipts for the work completed, however, they are have been unable to provide them to me. The loan was approved based on the completion report stating work "completed by others," but since they cant provide the receipts for work I suspect those items were actually not done.

If a seller provides me with documentation referencing work completed by a third party, that never happened, what is my recourse?

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Shannon Jones, Agent, Seal Beach, CA
Tue Jun 19, 2012
Although the termite completion report may state that they can't guarantee work by others, they do have an obligation to check that the work was completed. I would suggest contacting the termite company. They have standards from the Structural Pest Control Board that they have to meet.
2 votes
Ingrid Ski R…, Agent, Mission Viejo, CA
Thu Jun 21, 2012
HI NOC buyer,

First have you spoken to your agent and his/her broker on what they can do for you. This is what you should be doing first..
Your agent or you can contact the termite company for the reciepts if they did the work.
Your agent can help you get a second opinion from another termite company.
Your agent can give a notice to perform which your agent should know about and help you with if
need be.
You can talk with a real estate attorney on what you can do legally.. Your agent should be helping with all of this and be on top of it so you know it is being taken care of..
Talk to your agent/ or their broker.. Hopefully its a big company which has their own attorney...
What company is it that is helping you get your new home? Just curious...not necessary

Ingrid Ski Realtor
0 votes
Todd Foust, Agent, Anaheim, CA
Wed Jun 20, 2012
This should be simple. If the termite co issues a clearance they are signing off that the work has been completed to satisfaction. They homeowner may have done it, hence the lack of receipts. If you disagree that it was done correctly, call the termite co and give them the how and why and where it wasn't done correctly. If you still disagree, then you hire your own termite guy to isssue a 2nd report. done and done.
0 votes
Kawain Payne, Agent, Seal Beach, CA
Tue Jun 19, 2012
Do you have a work completed report from th etermite company?

If there are items stated as being completed in the report that were not completed you need to contact the termite company ASAP, and have them come out and complete the work.

The seller, has done their part by providing you witha copy of the work completed report.

Why do you suspect the work was not done?

Before you get too upset perhaps you should call the termite company and explain to them you have questions about the work was completed. I am sure they would not mind sending someone out to reassure you all work stated completed in the report has been completed.

Best of Luck to You,
Kawain Payne, Realtor
0 votes
Emily Knell, Agent, Huntington Beach, CA
Tue Jun 19, 2012
I suggest contacting Taurus Termite for a 2nd opinion, I use them for Seal Beach and Rossmoor area home sales, you can reach them at 714-993-1161.

Shoot me an email directly if you'd like to talk to me some more. I don't look back on this same Trulia thread for answers posted after mine.

562-430-3053 c
Realtor Since 1996
Main Street Realtors
0 votes
Matthew Bart…, Agent, Glendora, CA
Tue Jun 19, 2012

The Termite company should do two things. 1) Prepare the work completion report and 2) place a work completion card in the homes garage. The termite completion report is your confirmation that all Section 1 repairs have been fixed as reported in the termite inspection report, and as agreed to in writing. This is standard procedure. The Listing Agent and the Seller's are not required to turn over any other receipts to verify that the work has been completed. That being said, if you have doubts about the work being completed then I recommend that you hire a second Termite company to come out an inspect the areas mentioned in the Seller's initial inspection and completion reports. Many licensed termite companies will offer you a free inspection report. Simply ask them if there will be a charge. Let the second Termite company confirm if the work was infact completed. If the work was not completed, and yet the Termite company signed off that it was, then the Termite company has made a big mistake. At this point, your Agent must complete a Notice To Seller To Perform requiring that the Termite company complete the Section 1 repairs as agreed to in the purchase agreement. The Notice should also give a timeframe for the Section 1 work to be completed. Should the Seller's not perform as per your Notice, then you must be prepared to cancel the escrow and walk away. Since you're speaking with an Attorney, inquire about sending a letter to the Seller's Termite company as well informing them that you will be contacting the Structural Pest Control Board to make a complaint about them and their practices of signing off on work that has not been completed. Also be sure to discuss with your Attorney what you must do to prepare yourself in the event the Seller's do not perform and you desire to cancel the escrow. I hope this helps to answer your question. Good luck!

0 votes
Birgit O'hea…, , Orange County, CA
Tue Jun 19, 2012
Hello VA Buyer,

If I understand your concern correctly, you are looking for confirmation of termite repair work done via receipts/ etc. in order to remove your termite and loan contingency for your VA Loan and to proceed with escrow.

I suggest that you share your concerns with your Realtor and see if they have spoken with the seller's agent. If nothing has come as a result of that discussion, see if your Realtor will have their Broker talk to the Seller's Broker; that tends to get results quickly. if you are within the first 17 days of escrow, see If your Realtor will consider sending the seller's agent a "Notice to Perform".

If no confirmation of work is received that satisfies you and your Realtor's Broker, you may consider cancelling your escrow.

I'm hopeful that this situation will be resolved favorably for you.

With warmest regards,

Birgit O'Hearn
(949) 463-7955
Windermere Real Estate SoCal
DRE# 01886700
0 votes
John Souerbry, Agent, Fairfield, CA
Tue Jun 19, 2012
You never have to accept an inspection report from anybody - you have the option to reject it. If you think the work hasn't been done, refuse to sign the termite report, which escrow will ask you to do, and hire an independent inspector to verify the work has been completed.
0 votes
Cindy Davis, Agent, San Diego, CA
Tue Jun 19, 2012
Give the documentation for escrow and the lender. You CAN'T close until it is complete per the requirements of the VA loan.

Did you or your agent put the need for termite clearance in the purchase contract? If not, then you have a real problem with the Realtor...if it IS in the contract, then your seller is in breach and you send a demand for action.

Your Realtor shouls be managing the show here and strongly pushing the other side to get things done.
0 votes
Vicky Perez…, , Seal Beach, CA
Tue Jun 19, 2012
Since you're going to your attorney with this matter, your attorney should contact the termite company and your agent. What does your agent advise? Have you viewed the property to see if the work was actually completed? The termite company should have a record of who was sent out to do the work. To get the receipts from the seller, your agent should be contacting the listing agent. Good luck and I hope everything works out for you.
0 votes
NOC buyer, Home Buyer, Seal Beach, CA
Tue Jun 19, 2012

I think this is more than a Notice to Perform.

Meeting with my attorney today. But initial thought is disclosure fraud.
0 votes
Vicki Lloyd, , Lake Forest, CA
Tue Jun 19, 2012
The termite company issued a clearance, so what ever issues they had identified as needing to be done, must have been done. "Work completed by others" just means that the termite company won't guarantee the quality of the work.

It's possible that they had a handyman do the work, and handymen often don't like to provide invoices . If it was simple wood replacement (with painting to match) it isn't complicated. I have noticed that termite companies are notorious for being very expensive carpenters, so I usually recommend finding another way to get wood replaced.

If there was still fungus or visible termite damage, the termite company would not (or should not) have issued the clearance.
0 votes
Ron Thomas, Agent, Fresno, CA
Tue Jun 19, 2012
A termite inspection is very cheap;
around here, it is only $50 and we usually have a coupon in the back of the yellow pages:
Be sure you choose a big-name company, since you are going to challenge them.

Submit the results to the Escrow, your Lender and the Listing Agent, as well as your Agent.
Include the other paperwork relating to the termites, and you may give them a NOTICE to PERFORM, to call their bluff.
You must be ready to walk-away if this does not work for you:
Is this worth walking away?

Good luck and may God bless
0 votes
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