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Written by Tim Denner
on May 28, 2019


If you have a long career as a real estate agent it is highly likely that you will encounter properties with termite damage. It is important to understand some basic things about termites because their presence can influence your client’s decision about the property. Your clients may look to you for help deciding if they should buy a property with termite damage. Your clients who are selling a home could ask your opinion on providing an inspection report to potential buyers. In order to best serve your clients, you need to have some knowledge about termites. You can start by learning about the scope of damage termites can cause, ways to protect your clients from undiscovered termite activity/damage, and the resources available for termite treatment and ongoing protection.

Scope of damage termites can cause

As a real estate agent, you need to be able to convey to your clients the scope of damage termites can cause. They will eat away at the structural wood of a property which can lead to a whole host of problems. Repairing termite damage can be expensive and disruptive to the inhabitants of the home-especially if it is severe. It is also beneficial for you to know how to spot the signs of termite damage. When you walk through properties with clients they may ask if the damage they see to wood is from termites, dry rot, or water damage. Knowing how to answer that question will help your clients in their decision making process. Termite damage can make the wood look wavy or full of crevices. In severe cases the wood may look like it has disintegrated. Take some time to look at images of termite damage so you can help your clients understand what they are looking at as they tour properties.

Ways to protect your clients from undiscovered termite activity and damage

You need to know the options for protecting your clients from selling or purchasing a home with undiscovered termite activity and damage. The number one way to do this is to encourage all of your clients to get a termite inspection. Buyers should have a professional termite inspection on any property they decide to purchase. The inspection can be completed during the option period and your clients can continue with the purchase or back out based on what the inspection reveals. Sellers should have an inspection done on their property as part of putting it on the market. They can provide the inspection report to potential buyers as a way to show that the property is termite free. If termites are found during this time it will allow your sellers to remedy the problem or adjust the sale price accordingly. Every real estate agent needs to understand the importance of a termite inspection in both the buying and selling process.

Resources for termite treatment and ongoing protection

If you have clients who discover a termite problem in a property they want or currently own they will likely look to you for advice on the available resources. It is important to familiarize yourself with termite treatment options and providers in your area. Treatment options include structural fumigation, heat treatment, and green stay at home treatments. You can learn more about treatment options here. It is also beneficial to establish a working relationship with a local termite treatment professional that you can confidently recommend to your clients for termite inspections, treatments, and ongoing protection services.      

Learning about termites is a way for you to serve your clients who are looking to purchase or sell a home. You do not have to be an expert on termites but it is good to be familiar with the damage they can cause, options for protecting your clients from undiscovered termite activity, and the resources available for termite treatment and protection.

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