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We have someone buying our house and we're due to close next week. Termite report came back clean, but buyer wants us to pay $1,200 for (presumably preventative) termite treatment as the house hasn't had treatment in the last five years.

Is this reasonable? My view is that this is something she should pay for if she wants it given there isn't any termite damage, but wasn't sure if this is something that the seller would normally be expected to pay for.

Edit: apparently a long time ago there had been some termite and powder post beetle damage but that had been cleared and no damage in many years (probably at least a decade).

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I wouldn't. You're selling the house as-is. There isn't a current issue with termites, so there isn't a legitimate concern. Buyer is just trying to get free stuff from you.

Have spoken to the agent. Apparently the termite company is the one saying that the preventative treatment should be done (surprise!). According to the contract, we're obligated to 1% of the purchase price.

This price is also including some other moisture treatment, debris removal and vapor barrier, so I guess the price isn't as bad as it originally seemed. Sounds like the buyer is buying through FHA so there seems to be some other requirements there.

peps2004 said:   Have spoken to the agent. Apparently the termite company is the one saying that the preventative treatment should be done (surprise!). According to the contract, we're obligated to 1% of the purchase price.

This price is also including some other moisture treatment, debris removal and vapor barrier, so I guess the price isn't as bad as it originally seemed. Sounds like the buyer is buying through FHA so there seems to be some other requirements there.

Do you mean that your contract states seller must pay up to 1% of purchase price for termite preventive treatment? If so, why did you allow this clause in the contract (unless it's standard for your state)?

ArmchairArchitect said:   
peps2004 said:   Have spoken to the agent. Apparently the termite company is the one saying that the preventative treatment should be done (surprise!). According to the contract, we're obligated to 1% of the purchase price.

This price is also including some other moisture treatment, debris removal and vapor barrier, so I guess the price isn't as bad as it originally seemed. Sounds like the buyer is buying through FHA so there seems to be some other requirements there.

Do you mean that your contract states seller must pay up to 1% of purchase price for termite preventive treatment? If so, why did you allow this clause in the contract (unless it's standard for your state)?

  Apparently it's common for it to be included in our area unfortunately.

Then why the question about paying it? If you've already agreed to it... then why is any approval needed? And wouldn't your realtor have already presented your seller net value as including that 1% cost, so there's no change from what you were expecting?

Edit:  You're paying your realtor a crazy amount (likely, I'm just assuming you used a random full-price realtor someone referred you to based on the realtor's personality not actual skill... of course my assumptions could be wrong...).  Their job is to explain everything to you BEFORE you sign the agreements.  That's basically all they're there for.

Contract language for terminates varries greatly by area. In the area i grew up in, basically every seller provided a termiate bond. Essentially prepaid terminate treatment. The entire SE is covered in terminates, its just a matter of keeping them out of the house.

Bend3r said:   Then why the question about paying it? If you've already agreed to it... then why is any approval needed? And wouldn't your realtor have already presented your seller net value as including that 1% cost, so there's no change from what you were expecting?

Edit:  You're paying your realtor a crazy amount (likely, I'm just assuming you used a random full-price realtor someone referred you to based on the realtor's personality not actual skill... of course my assumptions could be wrong...).  Their job is to explain everything to you BEFORE you sign the agreements.  That's basically all they're there for.

  I'd asked on here at the same time as asking our agent so I've found out more info since posting here. I'd just wanted to get an idea of if this was normal or not as this is our first time selling here. I hadn't realized previously that there had been wording in the contract regarding termite treatment.

And our agent is my MIL, so I'm hoping she has our back

peps2004 said:   
Bend3r said:   
 


And our agent is my MIL, so I'm hoping she has our back

  she has your wallet

People can ask for anything. I would say no. They don't have to have it and I'm sure they haven't shopped around for best price. They will probably just ask you to provide the money at closing, then never do it.

Threaten to walk or hardline no, you might get a split from your stealator that didn't spend the time to detail that when you signed.

peps2004 said:   
Bend3r said:   Then why the question about paying it? If you've already agreed to it... then why is any approval needed? And wouldn't your realtor have already presented your seller net value as including that 1% cost, so there's no change from what you were expecting?

Edit:  You're paying your realtor a crazy amount (likely, I'm just assuming you used a random full-price realtor someone referred you to based on the realtor's personality not actual skill... of course my assumptions could be wrong...).  Their job is to explain everything to you BEFORE you sign the agreements.  That's basically all they're there for.

  I'd asked on here at the same time as asking our agent so I've found out more info since posting here. I'd just wanted to get an idea of if this was normal or not as this is our first time selling here. I hadn't realized previously that there had been wording in the contract regarding termite treatment.

And our agent is my MIL, so I'm hoping she has our back

  

Is it normal for the other party of a contract to enforce clauses of a contract?

Yes. 

I mean your probably doing the single largest financial transaction of your life, how did you not see that 1% of the purchase price part?
Assuming the part of the contract is the reason for the $1,200 ask, I would chalk this up to an expensive lesson.
Also never use this realtor again, this should have been mentioned within 30 minutes of the first meet and greet, then mentioned again before you signed the paperwork.

If you DIY'd the preventive termite treatment (keep evidence of it being completed), would that satisfy the language of the contract?

I'll have to check on the contract. The house is in my wife's name, so I never ended up reading the contract.

Let the wife and the MIL sort it out. Grab a cold one and the remote and enjoy your life!

panmet69 said:   I mean your probably doing the single largest financial transaction of your life, how did you not see that 1% of the purchase price part?
Assuming the part of the contract is the reason for the $1,200 ask, I would chalk this up to an expensive lesson.

  Is this a $120,000 house?

It's a 106k house. Apparently the treatments are $1,200, so more than the 1%. I think we should only be paying the $1,060 but my wife doesn't want to rock the boat and just wants to pay the extra $140.

peps2004 said:    I'd just wanted to get an idea of if this was normal or not as this is our first time selling here. I hadn't realized previously that there had been wording in the contract regarding termite treatment.
  
That kind of thing varies considerably depending on where you live.   Whats normal in one state may not be in another.   We don't even know what state you're in.  Some peopple will answer here based on their personal experience which may not have anything to do with whats normal where you live.


 

$1200 to spray some stuff around the foundation???

peps2004 said:   It's a 106k house. Apparently the treatments are $1,200, so more than the 1%. I think we should only be paying the $1,060 but my wife doesn't want to rock the boat and just wants to pay the extra $140.
  

Ask her how many purses and shoes that this fee equates to.

Hit it with ortho home defense and give them a receipt.  That stuff works awesome and they can reapply as needed.  $50 bux there, there is no problem with termites, next they will ask you to seal the driveway and paint you deck....

peps2004 said:   According to the contract, we're obligated to 1% of the purchase price.
 

I'd be interested in the specific language in the contract.  Are you obligated for preventive treatment, or strictly remediation of actual infestation?

I'd tell the buyers to pound sand. 

peps2004 said:   It's a 106k house. Apparently the treatments are $1,200, so more than the 1%. I think we should only be paying the $1,060 but my wife doesn't want to rock the boat and just wants to pay the extra $140.
  If you have already agreed to $1,060 and they are asking for $1,200, then I will offer to split the difference and close the deal (assuming this is the only sticking point). No need to rock the boat as your wife said for a relatively small amount.

DCWilbur - I'm going to ask for a copy of the contract tonight to take a look as I'm curious as to what it says.

FWUser12 - I'm inclined to go with what my wife wants - we've already moved out so we'd end up being out of pocket even more if the deal fell through.

When I'd posted on here originally, I hadn't known that the contract had the 1% wording in there - I'd just been assuming that the buyer wanted the treatment done regardless and didn't want to have to pay for it herself. It's only since then that I've gotten more details.

n.b. we're in Virginia.

How long has the house been on the market? How many offers did you get? How quickly do you want to sell?
You don't have to agree to anything you don't want, just decide between the extra $1200 and the possibility of the buyer walking away. Also make sure that they can't walk away once and if you agree to the $1200.

peps2004 said:   we're in Virginia.
 


Well here is the language from the standard Virginia contract.  Note the phrase that I bolded:
Virginia Association of Realtors said: WOOD INFESTATION INSPECTION AND REPORT:
Prior to settlement, Seller shall provide Purchaser a report, dated not more than 30 days prior to date of settlement, from a wood infestation control company certified and licensed by the Commonwealth of Virginia and properly insured,  concerning the presence of or damage from termites or other wood-destroying insects or organisms in the primary dwelling, in any other dwelling(s) on the Property as to which a certificate of occupancy has been issued and is in effect, and in the following additional structures ___________________________________________________________________________________(the “Applicable Structures”). If the inspection reveals active infestation in any of the Applicable Structures, Seller shall have such infestation treated by a company licensed by the Commonwealth of Virginia and properly insured. If the inspection reveals damage to any Applicable Structure, Seller shall have the damage repaired by a contractor licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia; provided, however, that if the estimated aggregate cost of such treatment or repairs or both exceeds $1,000, and Purchaser and Seller cannot agree on how the amount exceeding $1,000, will be paid, Purchaser shall have the right either (i) to accept repairs or treatment not exceeding $1,000, in which event Seller shall have such repairs or treatment performed at Seller’s expense, (ii) to receive a credit at settlement in the amount of $1,000, or (iii) to terminate this Contract and receive a refund of the Deposit. Although the report required in this paragraph 12 deals with wood-destroying organisms, nothing in this paragraph 12 shall be interpreted to require Seller to provide general testing for mold or other fungus beyond that routinely performed by companies licensed to perform control and protection of structures from wood infestation by termites or other wood-destroying insects.
 

Link
 

IF you have a termite inspection report as part of the current closing process, show them that. In my market, IF termites are found, the seller pays for treatment and related repair. Been that way in most Realtor contacts for over 40 years. Again, the answer is in any current termite inspection.
How much leg the buyer has to stand on depends on the current termite inspection. That is where your answer may be determined.

Pull out all old termite treatment paperwork. Many of those have guarantees that may help the current situation. READ the old paperwork. YMMV

I paid 650.00 for termite treatment for a 2800 sq house, apparently termites love the texas heat

It's rather amusing to read all the outrage. Did it ever occur to you at all that this may be a buyer's market?

In my market this cost is less than 0.01% of the median price so items like this aren't even discussed.

stardent said:   It's rather amusing to read all the outrage. Did it ever occur to you at all that this may be a buyer's market?
  Buyers market? Not in Calfornia. 

drew2money said:   
peps2004 said:   It's a 106k house. Apparently the treatments are $1,200, so more than the 1%. I think we should only be paying the $1,060 but my wife doesn't want to rock the boat and just wants to pay the extra $140.
  

Ask her how many purses and shoes that this fee equates to.

  not even 1


vamonos pest
Disclaimer
Are these the guys doing the termite treatment? Link 

Here's the wording of the contract:

B. WOOD DESTROYING INSECT INFESTATION (WDII) / MOISTURE INSPECTION / REPAIRS:

1. INSPECTION / REPORTS: BUYER / SELLER shall obtain and authorize delivery at BUYER'S / SELLER'S expense, an approved Wood Destroying Insect Infestation Inspection Report and a Moisture Inspection Report, (collectively referred to as the “Reports”) and any re-inspection reports if required, from a licensed pest control operator. The Wood Destroying Insect Infestation Inspection Report shall show whether the Property's principal dwelling, garage, and the following additional structures __________________ infestation with no visible unrepaired damage from said infestation. The Moisture Inspection Report shall show whether readily accessible areas of the foundation and understructure, including crawl space, sill plates, joists, sub-flooring and substructure support timbers are free of standing water, visible moisture damage and wood destroying fungi. The Reports must be obtained and delivered to settlement ag...se Buyer for the cost of the original termite/moisture inspection, if paid by Buyer.

If the Reports are not obtained and delivered within the above time frame, the other party shall have the right to order the Reports at the expense of the party initially obligated to obtain the Reports. The obligation to reimburse the cost of obtaining the Reports by the other party shall not exceed $

2. TREATMENT: Treatment, if required, shall be performed by the company issuing the Reports. Cost of treatment shall be at Seller’s expense, subject to the Cap.

3. REPAIRS: Seller shall correct in a workmanlike manner, at Seller’s expense, subject to the Cap, all standing water and damage identified in the Reports prior to the walk through inspection. The selection of the company to make any repairs, if required, shall be at the Seller’s discretion. Buyer reserves the right to have the required repairs re-inspected at or prior to walk-through to ensure repairs were completed in a workmanlike manner.


It therefore looks like we're liable for this. Thanks for all the suggestions & advice.

It specifically says "2. TREATMENT: Treatment, if required, shall be performed by the company issuing the Reports. Cost of treatment shall be at Seller’s expense, subject to the Cap."

How is treatment required if there is no active infestation?

The company doing the inspection has recommended that the treatment be done because of past termite & beetle damage and the fact that there had been a lot of moisture under the house which would make it more susceptible to termites in the future.

peps2004 said:   The company doing the inspection has recommended that the treatment be done because of past termite & beetle damage and the fact that there had been a lot of moisture under the house which would make it more susceptible to termites in the future.
  recommended <> required

recommend: to represent or urge as advisable or expedient; to advise, as an alternative; suggest (a choice, course of action, etc.)
require: to have need of; need; to call on authoritatively; order or enjoin to do something; to ask for authoritatively or imperatively; demand.

baphant43 said:   In my market this cost is less than 0.01% of the median price so items like this aren't even discussed.
  Yes, I'm sure you're in a market with at $10 million median price.

cestmoi123 said:   
baphant43 said:   In my market this cost is less than 0.01% of the median price so items like this aren't even discussed.
  Yes, I'm sure you're in a market with at $10 million median price.

  
Somebody lives in Pacific Heights, right?

Skipping 15 Messages...
There's the question for the buyers of whether they are willing to let a house they want go over a $1200 "recommended" inspection. Many are looking to get into houses just as quickly as others are looking to get out.

I'd risk $150 to save $1200. If the second company comes back with similar then you pay it and move on. If it comes back clean you should be good to go.



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