As a real estate agent, some of your most fearsome foes are termites. These little buggers can literally eat away at your bottom line if they decide to move into one of the homes you are trying to sell. As the saying goes, know thy enemy. In order to help you better address termite issues, I’ve listed below the top five termite myths that every real estate agent should know:
Myth One: Termites are only found in the south
Wrong! While termites do prefer warm weather, they can actually be found throughout the United States, even in colder climates. In fact, the only U.S. state with no recorded termites is Alaska. With that said, however, termites tend to be most common in the south. San Diego, unfortunately, is a big termite sweet spot, which means the homes your clients are looking to sell or buy are potentially vulnerable.
Myth Two: Termites are only destructive pests
It can sometimes seem like termites were put on this earth solely for the purpose of disrupting your life, but they actually have an important role to play in nature. They are natural “recyclers”, who do a wonderful job of breaking down dead wood in the forests and turning it into nutrient-rich soil that helps plants grow. Unfortunately, termites are not gifted with the ability to distinguish a forest from the comfortable 3 bedroom 2 bath you just put on the market.
Myth Three: When land and trees are leveled, the termites are destroyed
If only, but alas, most species of termites (there are 41 different species of termites) live in the ground. In fact, when trees are taken off a property, the termite colony loses its main food source and must go in search of a new meal ticket. That might just happen to be your client’s newly constructed home or the homes next door.
Myth Four: Termites can eat through concrete
Many people have seen termites crawling through concrete and have made the assumption that they can actually eat through the stuff. While termites certainly have strong appetites, concrete is not on their menu. Termites are incredibly small and can squeeze into the tiniest cracks in the concrete. As more and more termites crawl through the cracks, the cracks become larger, making it seem like the termites are actually eating through the concrete.
This is the main reason why a concrete slab under a house does not prevent termites. They can find a crack or cold joint and work their way through to the home’s wooden frame.
Myth Five: When a house is tented, it just moves the termites into neighboring homes
It is not uncommon for homeowners to notice termite infestations soon after their neighbors’ house was tented. This may lead to the suspicion that your neighbor just gave you the worst present ever. This is not the case.
The tenting of a house does not cause termites to flee to neighboring houses, but time of year could be the problem. Drywood termite swarming could just be coincidental.
As a real estate agent, if you notice that a house next door to a property you are selling is tented or has been tented recently make sure to look closely for termites or to bring in a termite inspector. Likewise, if a house you’re interested in showing to a prospective buyer is near a tented property, make sure you have a termite inspection of the property as part of your offer.
Hopefully the banishment of these myths will help you better understand your termite foe. If a house you’re looking to put on the market has been infested with termites, call Best Rate Repair at (619) 229-0116. We can recommend a high-quality, cost-effective exterminator and then come in and provide an assessment and repair bid for any wood damage that may have occurred. You can also contact us through our website.