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Preparing to Sell Your Home: What To Do

Updated on: October 18, 2019

For most people, their home is the largest investment they have. So when it comes time to sell this investment, it may cause major anxiety. Usually, the first job is to find a realtor. The realtor will make recommendations on ways to increase its value. This usually costs money. Then they have to find a qualified buyer. Once the home goes under contract the buyer usually has a few weeks to acquire a home inspection. The job of the home inspector is to find things wrong with the home, this also includes pests.

In Northern New Jersey, the seller is required to sign a disclosure statement. Therefore, if a legitimate pest problem exists it must be disclosed. From a Wood Destroying Organism perspective, this includes Carpenter Ants, Carpenter Bees, Termites, and Powder Post Beetles. The results of the pest inspection must be disclosed in an NPMA-33 Form by the home inspector. The reason why this form is important is that all banks use it in the loan process. Usually, once Carpenter Ants, Carpenter Bees, Termites or Powder Post Beetles are observed and noted on the report you will have to treat them prior to closing. The treatment(s) must be performed by a Licenced Pest Management Professional. The treatment(s) usually require a year warranty. During the warranty, if the noted pests reappear the Pest Management Professional who performed the service will be required to treat again at no charge. This is one reason why some of these treatments may be costly.

Like all services, some home inspectors are very good and some are not very good. Some of the reports we have seen are extremely vague. If possible, have the inspector take pictures of any problems to avoid any confusion. It is important to remember that the job of the home inspector is to find things wrong and they work for the buyer.

Some home inspectors are now noting pests other than Wood Destroying Pests on their reports. These pests include, but are not limited to: grease ants, tiny ants, sugar ants, crickets, bees, wasps, hornets, yellow jackets, mice, squirrels, and other rodents. The newest thing is evidence of rodents. This is especially true for mice and squirrels. The inspectors are looking for mouse droppings, grease marks (mouse runways), squirrel droppings, and insulation that may be disturbed from rodents. Remediation of rodents evidence may include the removal and replacement of insulation. Prior to the installation of new insulation, a disinfection treatment may be required. This process may be very costly.

What Can You Do?

This may sound scary, but there are some things you can do to reduce potential inspection problems. When it comes to ants, (especially carpenter ants) we all have had an occasional ant in our home. Every home may have a couple of dead ants in the basement. The best answer is to vacuum them up. If you have had an occasional mouse in your home and there a few droppings in the basement or attic vacuum them up. If you have a few spider webs in or around your home take them down. If you have bees, wasps, yellow jackets or hornets it may be best to treat them prior to the inspection. If you have had a previous squirrel problem in the attic and some of the insulation is disturbed replacing the disturbed insulation is probably a good idea.

It is important to remember that if you do have a legitimate pest problem you need to disclose it and probably fix it. By doing some simple cleaning you can save yourself a lot of aggravation and probably some money.

If you do have a pest problem arising from a home inspection with ants, mice, crickets, squirrels, bees or any other pest we can help. We can fix the problem and supply all the necessary paperwork for a smooth closing.

If we can be of help please contact us or email us at


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