Here in Miami one item that shows up on inspections 99.9% of the time is “termite evidence.” Basically, this is any sort of visible trace left behind by termites showing that they have been in a house: wings, droppings, and chewed-up wood all constitute “evidence.” The problem with this type of item being noted on an inspection report is not that it is wrong – it is just that it does not mean that there are live termites actively eating away at a home. In all of my years as a realtor, termite debris has most often been found in places like attics or crawl spaces, which are areas that, once treated to kill the bugs, are not cleaned. Seriously, who is going to vacuum their attic after they tent?!
Unfortunately, seeing anything about termites on an inspection report is enough to spook home buyers. Termites are, after all, destructive organisms that can deteriorate a structure. One thing that sellers can do to assuage any buyer’s fear is to maintain a termite warranty on their house. Then, when evidence is found by an inspector the seller can turn around and have their exterminator take a peek at the property and either tell the interested parties that there is no problem or simply treat for the bugs. Either way, the problem is solved.
If an inspection finds active termite activity, then there is cause for concern (and kudos to the homeowners who have termite coverage in this situation!). However, evidence is likely going to show up on a home inspection in South Florida – and it is probably no big deal!
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