When it comes to timber pest inspection clauses, it pays to be specific.
Here are two lesser-known facts about timber pest inspections that can impact property transactions.
1. Termite inspections and timber pest inspections are different.
While most real estate agents know this, it’s a common misunderstanding among the general public.
Termite inspections only cover termites, while timber pest inspections cover certain other timber pests, too. So if the contract is conditional upon a termite inspection, and the buyer conducts a timber pest inspection in which wood borers are found, the buyer can’t terminate the contract as a result.
If you’re an agent, you can can help prevent misunderstandings by letting buyers know about the difference between timber pest and termite inspections, before the contract is signed.
2. It’s worth specifying whether the inspection clause covers the main building or the entire property.
If the timber pest clause is vague about which areas are covered, what would happen if the buyer’s inspection disclosed live termites in, for example, a tree stump? Depending on the wording of the clause, the seller might be forced to treat the tree stump before settlement can occur, even though no termites were found in the main building.
For this reason, it pays to ensure your clauses are specific. For agents, this may mean using your office’s standard clauses wherever possible.
Have you ever been in a situation where confusion over a timber pest clause affected settlement? Leave a comment below to share your experience.
Image by Aleksy Gnilenkov via Flickr.