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REAL ESTATE: Termite fighters bugged by homebuyer contract changes

REAL ESTATE: Termite fighters bugged by homebuyer contract changes

REAL ESTATE: Termite fighters bugged by homebuyer contract changes

image0-REAL ESTATE: Termite fighters bugged by homebuyer contract changes

To learn more about wood destroying pests

Check out this website: Pestboard.ca.gov/

Most lending institutions require that homes in California be inspected for wood destroying pests and organisms, or WDO, to get a home loan. To learn if a WDO inspection was completed within the last two years, you can request a WDO Record Check.

Wood Destroying Organism Inspections

The number of inspections by the Structural Pest Control Board in California:

2010-11: 1.2 million

2011-12: 1.3 million

2012-13: 1.29 million

2013-14: 1.3 million

Source: Structural Pest Control Board

The California Association of Realtors has changed the way termite and other wood-destroying pest-inspection provisions appear on a 10-page agreement to buy a home.

And that’s got the pest control professionals bugged.

“Our concern is that it may diminish the number of termite inspections that are done here in California,” said Joshua Adams, director of membership and technical services for Pest Control Operators of California. “We are afraid this critical step in homebuying and selling will be missed.”

Neil Kalin, assistant general counsel for the Realtor trade group, said time will show their worries are unwarranted.

California Association of Realtors, in November 2014, revised the residential purchase agreement that real estate professionals use when consumers buy and sell a home in California to streamline the forms involving termite and wood-destroying pest inspections and to clear up one troubled provision.

The original provision needed to be changed because it had the seller agreeing to pay for repairs before an inspection occurred, and before they learned its results or the costs, Kalin said.

If a small amount came in for the repairs or remediation, it was no problem.

“If it was a big amount, it’s a big problem transactionally,” he said, a potential source of conflict with a real estate agent. It could nix a sale.

“They’d say, ‘Why didn’t you tell me?’~” Kalin said.

A C.A.R. committee which studied changes to the forms over a two-year period decided to eliminate the wood-pest addendum altogether to remedy this snag for sellers.

However, Kalin said the forms presented to buyers and sellers to buy a home did not strip away language advising buyers of the importance to have a wood-destroying pest inspection.

It now appears in a new place within the purchase agreement, and in a one-page document that highlights the things a buyer should look into, Kalin said.

Travis Swope, owner of Griffin Pest Management, a Santa Ana-based firm serving Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego counties, said the Pest Control Operators Association of California is concerned the new advisory forms are too simple.

The trade group is worried the new home purchase agreement fails to give buyers the basic understanding of where to begin negotiations over who would pay for remediation or repairs, if the house has termites or been damaged by wood destroying pests.

As the forms stand now, Swope said they don’t see their options unless they agree to add a termite inspection to the contract.

Press Enterprise : Real Estate