Here at Ennis Exterminating, we have a licensed real estate agent on our staff who knows the timelines and processes of real estate transactions and will make sure you have the information you need if a termite letter is required when it comes time to sell your current home or buy a new home.
What exactly is a “TERMITE LETTER”? The official name for a termite letter in Georgia is OFFICIAL GEORGIA WOOD INFESTATION INSPECTION REPORT, and it addresses more than just termites. The main purpose of a termite letter is for mortgage companies to make sure they aren’t loaning money against a home that has an active infestation of any of the following wood destroying organisms: Subterranean Termites, Powder Post Beetles, Wood Boring Beetles, Dry Wood Termites and/or Wood Decaying Fungi (Not Molds and Mildews).
Who needs a termite letter? If you are like most people, you may think there is a law requiring all residential real estate transactions to have a termite letter issued before closing. The truth is, you only need a termite letter if the mortgage company for the Buyer of a home (whether its you buying a home or another buyer purchasing your home) requires a termite letter in order to close. There are some transactions where the mortgage company does NOT require a termite letter.
If you are SELLING your home and no one asks you for a termite letter . . . you don’t need to spend the money on a termite letter. It is STILL a good idea to have your home inspected by the termite authority in your area before putting your home on the market so you can avoid any last minute surprises before closing.
If you are BUYING a home and your mortgage company or real estate agent says you need a termite letter . . . we suggest you hire your own termite company to inspect the home for YOU and not simply use the termite company the Seller wants to use. The Seller is probably an honest person who isn’t trying to hide anything from you, but the termite company they hire works for THEM, not YOU.
If you are BUYING a home and you are NOT required to have a termite letter . . . don’t get a termite letter, but DO get an inspection. Even if you don’t need a termite letter, having the home you are thinking of buying inspected by the authority on termites in your area is very important. You don’t want to buy a home and find out it has a major termite infestation that could have been taken care of before you committed to a 15 or 30 year mortgage.
When do you need to request a termite letter if you DO need one? Call as soon as you know you need a termite letter to get the inspection scheduled. DON’T WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE BEFORE CLOSING! If you are a Buyer, ask your lender if you are going to need a termite letter before you even start looking at homes and be ready to call for your inspection as soon as you have a contract. Some termite companies require TWO WEEKS notice in order to inspect and issue a termite letter. Here at Ennis Exterminating, if there are not any active termites found during our inspection, we can usually issue a termite letter in 24 – 48 hours . . . sometimes less!
How long is a termite letter good? A termite letter (or Official Georgia Wood Infestation Inspection Report) can only be issued within 30 days of your real estate closing. If your closing gets postponed, and your new closing date is more than 30 days after the termite letter was originally issued, you will need to request your termite company to reissue the letter for your new closing date. Depending on the circumstances, some companies may charge a small fee for re-inspection or re-issuing the termite letter for the new closing date.
If you’re buying or selling a home and need a termite letter, want to schedule a termite inspection, or simply have a question about how to get rid of termites…call Ennis Exterminating at 770-716-0867 and ask for me, Glenn Laney. I’ll be happy to speak with you any time!
Here’s wishing YOU a PEST-FREE day!
PS: And don’t forget to ask about our FREE Consultation and FREE 58 Point Pest Analysis of your home or office!