What is a Termite Inspection?

One of the biggest concerns for Hawaii homeowners is the possibility for termites. When you are purchasing real estate in Hawaii, it is highly recommended that a termite inspection should be completed. Typically, the seller pays for the termite inspection on the home, while the buyer gets to select who they would like to use for the termite inspection. If any active termites are found on the property, then it is the seller’s responsibility to pay for termite treatment.

What should I know about the termite inspection as a buyer?

While the termite inspection gets paid by the seller, be sure to check your purchase contract as the contract will usually state a certain amount that the termite inspection cost should not exceed. If you happen to choose a termite inspector whose cost exceeds the contract limit, the buyer is obligated to pay the difference.

Not all termite inspectors are equal! Some companies offer free one year warranties that the buyer should take advantage of. Inquire with your real estate agent who would be able to recommend an inspector to you.

As the buyer, you are not required to attend the termite inspection. If you do wish to attend, please let your real estate agent know. A report will typically get emailed to all parties that you will be able to review.

Since the termite inspection usually gets paid by the seller, it can be a competitive advantage if you offer to pay the inspection for the seller, in the event of a multiple offer situation.

What should I know about the termite inspection as a seller?

As a seller, you should account for the termite inspection as one of your closing cost items. The cost of the inspection will depend on the size of your home as well as the termite company that the buyer ends up choosing.

Check with your purchase contract and confirm the amount that the inspection cost should not exceed. You will not be obligated to pay anything above that amount.

If you are living in your home at the time of the sale, you do not have to leave when the termite inspection is taking place. The inspection will usually run about 30 minutes to an hour. The report will typically be available by the next day and will be emailed to all parties.

If active termites are found on your property, the contract requires that the seller pays for the termite treatment per the recommendations on the termite report (i.e. tenting, spot treatment, etc.). You are not obligated to use the same company who did the termite inspection. As the seller, you can choose to use a different company for the termite treatment, if you wish.

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