If you're selling your home, you've probably heard about a bunch of different types of home inspections you will (or won't) be needing.
Pest inspections are sometimes required by law and frequently required by buyers and their lenders. Here's your guide on how much pest inspections cost, when to get a pest inspection, and who should pay.
Is a Pest Inspection Required?
Whether a pest inspection is required will depend on your state and local laws and the details of any offers you receive. In some states, pest inspections are a mandatory part of all home sales, while in others it will depend on the specifics of the sale.
The buyer, the buyer's appraiser, or the buyer's lender may require a pest inspection as a part of the deal. Many buyers make their offers contingent on a pest inspection. Pest inspections can become a sales requirement if the seller's appraiser finds any conditions that could be caused by termites, beetles, ants, or dry-rot. And many lenders (FHA and VA lenders, in particular) will demand a pest report before moving forward with financing.
Real estate agents can help provide information about whether your local laws require a pest inspection and give referrals to local inspectors.
How Much Will a Pest Inspection Cost?
The cost of a pest inspection varies based on location and the type of inspection required. The average cost for a pest inspection is $100, but many home inspection companies offer pest inspections as part of a home sale/purchase service. Home inspections will generally cost between $300 and $500 and pest inspections usually add $75 to $125 to that price tag.
Do some shopping around before you make a decision — some pest control companies offer free preventative inspections to homeowners.
If your sale requires a report or official letter, that generally costs between $100 and $200.
All in all, depending on the type of inspection and reporting you need, an inspection could cost you anywhere from $50 to $200.
Should You Get an Inspection Even If It's Not Required?
Whether you should get an inspection done for your home depends on the answer to three questions:
- How old is the home and what condition is it in?
- What kind of market are you selling in?
- What does your real estate agent say?
Home Age & Condition
If something about your home's condition suggests there could be a pest problem, it might be in your best interest to get a report done to check. If you sell your house and should have known there was a pest or dry-rot problem, you could be found liable for damages down the road.
Buyers or Seller's Market
If you're in a hot seller's market, buyers may waive a pest inspection and other home inspection contingencies. If the buyer doesn't request a pest inspection and you're not required to get one done, you may be able to forego the cost.
However, if you're in a buyer's market and worried about marketing your house, you may want to get a pest inspection done sooner rather than later. It can be helpful to have a pest report available for prospective buyers.
Your Agent's Advice
If you're working with a real estate agent, get their advice on whether and when to get an independent pest inspection. Depending on your situation, your realtor may advise you to obtain a pest report. Your agent will also know whether a pest inspection is required in your state and whether getting one is likely to benefit your listing.
Who Pays for the Pest Inspection?
Like whether to get an independent inspection done, whether the buyer or seller pays for the pest inspection also depends on the home's age and condition and the condition of the local market.
You should also be careful to review the contingencies in any offers to see if they stipulate who pays for things like home inspections.
What Else Should You Know?
Navigating which inspections to get and when is yet another thing home sellers need to worry about. If you have any questions about the types of inspections required and what makes sense for your home and your market, it's best to work with an experienced local real estate agent.