One of the best decisions a homeowner can make is to have a home inspection before putting their house on the market. This may seem like putting the cart before the horse to some, but being able to address all the red flags before a potential buyer even sees the house can save a sale.
A home inspection can bring both repairs and deferred maintenance items to your attention that have gone unnoticed. Likewise, an inspector will inform you of any pest infestations that they discover during the home inspection. At this point, you can call in a professional exterminator for a closer look. The most common pests encountered can easily be removed or exterminated by a professional. Plus, as an added bonus, you have the paid receipt to show your potential buyers if the need arises later.
1. Termites—There is a very good reason for buyers to be concerned if your house has termites. According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), termites cause billions of dollars in structural damage to homes and buildings by attacking the wood. In addition to chemical treatments designed to fight infestation, you can passively battle termites by moving wood piles away from your home and creating a barrier to protect your home's wood members with sealant, metal casing, or a cement foundation.
2. Fleas—Generally, if your house has fleas, you should know. Brought in the home by household pets, fleas can infest carpet and bite ankles or, worse, infest your bedding making for a miserable night's sleep.
3. Bees—While bees provide humans with a tasty treat and pollinate our flowers, they are best contained to an apiary and not your home's eaves. Call bee control services for proper removal of the bee's nest so they can be relocated to an area where they will be more welcome.
4. Skunks—Flower may have been Bambi's best friend, but no seller wants to find a family of skunks under their front porch. They do zip for curb appeal and could possibly even spray a potential buyer at an evening showing if startled. No amount of tomato juice could save that deal.
5. Ants—Like termites, black carpenter ants like rotting wood. Their favorite meal is that big tree in your front yard that is well beyond its prime and listing slightly towards your neighbor's house. Do everyone a favor and talk to an arborist about the tree. If the tree is ant-infested, it needs to be removed and both your yard and home need to be treated. It may take several applications to completely eradicate the ants, but it is one less item on your future buyer's 'to do' list.
6. Crickets—In some parts of the country, listening to crickets chirp is part of a quintessential summer evening. In the southwest portion of the United States, however, they are quite annoying, much like mosquitoes in the north. They invade garages, get into kitchen cabinets, and in between walls. Regular chemical treatments around your home's perimeter can keep them at bay until your home sells.
7. Raccoons—If you come from a state without raccoons and your only experience with them is when they are portrayed as cute and cuddly on television, you are in for a surprise. Not only are raccoons a nuisance with trash cans, but they also attack when cornered. Raccoons have been known to access attics and wreck havoc on the interior of the space.
8. Wasps—Unlike bees, wasps have no special treats for us. They are, however, quite vindictive. Wasps can sting the objects of their anger multiple times and should best be handled by the professionals.