Termite damage has come out as a prime concern for house buyers, according to new research released by the property industry. Any sign of termite activity, even if it doesn’t affect the structure or integrity of a building, could deter potential purchasers, says the report. Figures showed that 74 percent of people surveyed wouldn’t buy a home if they saw any sign of termite activity and a further one in five said they would likely disregard the property entirely.
More than half the respondents agreed homes with termites could drop the value of the house by up to a quarter of the asking price. This makes potential pest activity in a property a serious factor to consider when marketing a property. Sellers that don’t provide a pre-purchase inspection certificate could automatically lose over $100 thousand off their sale price.
This data shows the dramatic effect termites can have on the value of a property, and how concerned potential homeowners are about pest infestations. They know that termite infestations could cost them a fortune in the long-term, and would rather avoid the hassle, risks, and costs involved in taking on a property with pests.
Their concerns, and better awareness about preventing termite infestations, are changing the habits of home sellers in Queensland, and particular Brisbane, say pest control professionals in the region. Service providers have seen a dramatic increase in pre-sale pest inspections in the past decade, showing a dramatic shift in attitude, they say.
This is particularly evident in Brisbane and other Queensland towns that are at high-risk for termite infestations because the climate is warm all year round. The region also has a high rainfall. Moisture is one of the significant attractants of termites to a property. Homes in this area are often slab-on-ground housing, which also increases the risk of termites accessing a property.
While most properties sold now come with a pest-free guarantee, potential sellers need to check that a reliable pest control professional is enlisted to undertake the inspection before they put their house on the market. They will check the property and house for signs of termites, test for live activity and provide a report to guide the homeowner on how to treat the issue as well as prevent future invasions.
With this information, property agents will be able to supply a pre-sale report that clarifies the condition of the home and can, therefore, assign an accurate value. If the sale isn’t urgent, the seller would be able to rectify any issues that come up in the report, like signs of termite activity, before the house is marketed. A pest and building inspection will cost the seller in the region of $500. This should be factored into the costs of selling a property. Compared with the amount pests could devalue a home, this is a small investment.
While the report showed the impact on a buyer’s perception of a property that has signs of termite activity, it also showed there is evidence that it can scare them off altogether. You can’t blame nervous buyers for pulling out of the sale; termite damage is not covered by insurance. Purchasing a home is a considerable investment and buyers would prefer to select a home without any signs of termites to protect their assets.
Property agents have all encountered cases where a contract has fallen through because termites on the property were discovered. Now backed by this conclusive research they are recommending that anyone interested in selling or buying a property investigates the termite status of the house. Any property going on the market should undergo a professional pest inspection to certify it is termite free.