The Basics of Pest Inspections
April 9, 2015

The Basics of Pest Inspections

A number of inspections take place during the sale of a house, including one for wood destroying pests and organisms (WDO), or more commonly known as pest inspections. While this particular inspection is not required by the State of California, many financial institutions do require it before financing a home loan.

The State of California does require all inspectors to be licensed by the California Structural Pest Control Board. Licensed inspectors use a standardized form for every report and it should clearly state if no infestation was found. If an infestation is discovered, a detailed description and recommendations for eradicating the problem should be addressed.

The report, which is generally valid for two years, should also detail any past or potential future problems. Conditions considered likely to lead to pest infestation include excessive moisture, earth-wood contacts, and faulty grade levels above the foundation. Buyers or interested parties can go to the Structural Pest Control Board’s website to see if any reports on a particular property have been filed in the past two years.

Who’s responsible for the inspection is rarely clear-cut. Sellers might provide one upfront, dependent on the condition of the home. If the market is hot, it may not be an issue. Providing one may also be a selling point for buyers looking in an inundated market. It can also be a form of security in dealing with any unexpected issues the buyer has after purchase.

Buyers, however, should always request a pest report. And if the seller is reluctant to provide it, it may be well worth it for the potential buyer to pay for it, or offer to split the cost.

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