Pat Hune, Broker 1st Southwest Realty  and Various Sources, November 2022

Recently I was selling a fix-up property in Glendale.  Overall the house was in pretty good condition.  It was a John F Long home back when John was building block homes. It was structurally sound, had a new HVAC unit and tile floors throughout.  It was the perfect sweat equity home for a first-time home buyer with the skills to do the work themselves to make it beautiful and save money.  

The home had been a rental for years.  When I went to the listing the first time there were a few dead roaches.  We all know tenants never spray for bugs.  After a couple of weeks on the market the feedback from prospective buyers was there were a lot of dead bugs in the house. I sent my handyman to take a look.  He cleaned up about 30 dead roaches.  The seller agreed to have the house sprayed for bugs.  

I arranged for two bug sprays with House Doctor.  House Doctor sprayed the house and suggested at least one more treatment.  They did not report a lot of dead bugs during the second treatment but there were a few.  I added a note in the MLS to please look past the dead bugs as the house was being sprayed.  A few weeks later an owner-occupant buyer made an acceptable offer.  

Since the buyer was getting a mortgage loan there had to be an appraisal.  The appraisal met the contract price which was great news in this market.  However, there was a requirement on the appraisal to have a Pest Inspection Report.  Lenders often require a clear termite report that states the house has been treated for termites if termites are found.  But that is not a pest inspection report.  When I asked the lender what this was she said she had never heard of it and she had been in the business for 20 years. I checked with House Doctor they had never heard of such a report either.  I checked with other lenders with the same results.  No one knew what this was or what it needed to say.  There was no standard form that anyone could provide. The bottomline was the lender would not approve the buyer’s loan if they did not receive this report.

I asked the lender what she thought the report should say. She suggested having the property treated again by House Doctor.  Then put all three treatment receipts with a letter on the House Doctor letterhead stating the house had been “inspected” and no live roaches were found. She said to make sure the document stated “Pest Inspection Report”.  I also had the handyman check the house. This time he only found about six dead bugs.  I submitted the letter with the receipts and the lender approved the loan.

So yes bugs can stop a home sale.  But if you need a “Pest Inspection Report” let me know.