The Best Way for Selling a House with Termite Damage

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Let’s be honest. Hearing about termites never evokes positive feelings. However, to be fair subterranean termites can be very beneficial to the environment. They are part of nature’s garbage crew, as they break down wood and other substances helping to return nutrients to the soil. None of us want them in our house, though.

The problem is that they are a wood-destroying insect, and when it comes to your house this is never a good thing. Active termites can do severe damage to the structure and stability of your house. Extensive structural damage is not only costly, but will easily scare away the average potential buyer if you’re trying to sell a termite-damaged house.


How does a house get termites? Most of the Southeast has a high population of subterranean termite species and Jacksonville, FL is no exception. The weather is warm and the ground is wet, which all equals “good for termite activity.”

Also, unlike most of the northeast, the ground never freezes so the termite population are not kept in check the way they might be in the North.

The worst part about a termite colony is it can cause significant structural damage before you even know about it. Some home sellers don’t even realize the damage until a prospective buyer performs an inspection.

They can destroy the structure of a house without ever breaking out into sight. They feed right behind drywall and underneath paint and you may not even know they are there until it is too late.

This is why it’s important for all homeowners to have a termite inspection done to their property on a regular basis to protect against infestation. Like most things, prevention is much better than a cure. Many companies will offer a termite bond, or agreement giving peace of mind should a future problem develop despite treatments.

Here are some signs on how to determine termite damage.



Homes constructed primarily of wood are not the only structures threatened by termite activity. Jacksonville homes made from other materials can also host a termite swarm, as these insects are capable of traversing through plaster, metal siding and more to reach their desired destination.

They are destructive, even more so than carpenter ants or carpenter bees. Termites then feed on cabinets, floors, ceilings, and even wooden furniture within the home.

Because termites are often not identified before significant property damage has occurred, it is advised that homeowners experiencing a termite infestation contact a reputable pest control company before attempting to address the problem on their own.

Professionals will conduct a pest inspection in order to correctly identify the source of the problem, and will then discuss possible avenues of termite treatment with homeowners.


Subterranean termites dwell underground in loose, and damp soil. Although subterranean termite species in Africa are famously aggressive and known for the obvious mounds above their colonies, signs of subterranean termite damage within the United States are much less obvious.

Subterranean and the formosan termite may not become apparent until infestations are full-blown. At first, termite damage sometimes appears similar to water damage. An experienced termite inspector will be able to distinguish the difference.

Outward signs of termite damage include buckling wood, swollen floors and ceilings, areas that appear to be suffering from slight water damage, and visible mazes within walls or furniture. Termite infestations also can exude a scent similar to mildew or mold. (Source: Orkin)

Subterranean termites also access above-ground food sources through mud tunnels they create from saliva, mud and feces. These tunnels are located near the foundation of infested homes.


Drywood termites build their colonies within wooden structures on which they feed. They can be found inside walls or furniture. Drywood termite infestations may only become apparent after a colony has burrowed so deeply into an infested item.

The veneer cracks and the maze-like tunnels beneath start to become visible. Such damage is common in antique furniture pieces. Should this occur on new furniture or the floors or walls of your home, contact a pest inspector to discuss the severity of your termite infestation, as well as extermination options.

* Termites are especially prevalent in the Jacksonville area. Avondale, Riverside, Ponte Vedra, The Beaches, Fleming Island, Orange Park, Arlington, Southside, St. Johns, Mandarin, San Marco, San Jose and Baymeadows.


Is it hard to sell a house that has had termites? As any real estate agent will explain, yes, it can be hard to sell a house with a history of termite damage. Of course, selling a house with active termites is different than a home that experienced past termite activityLet’s address both situations.


You do have options as the home seller, so don’t be discouraged if you need to sell your house fast and don’t have the money for getting rid of termites or making damaged wood repairs. First and foremost, you can’t address termite repair until you put a stop to the active termite issue itself.

Follow these steps to sell a termite damaged home:

  1. Stop the termite infestation

This can be difficult if you aren’t yet sure where the termites are coming from. They can have multiple entrances and tunnels through beams and wood that are invisible to you. A pest inspector will help you solve this mystery. Any wood-to-ground contact is an especially likely source of termite infestation, and needs to be addressed. Get termite treatment so the damage doesn’t become worse?

  1. Identify and make the repairs

Once the termites are gone, calculate the cost to repair any extensive termite damage before a traditional potential buyer sees the property.

The worst thing about termite damage is that you often don’t know about it until you uncover it. The process can be like peeling back an onion. Layer after layer of damage. With each new sheet of drywall you look behind, you can find more extensive damage. All of this will need to be repaired before you sell.

  1. Follow the law and offer buyers peace of mind

If you plan to sell traditionally through a real estate agent, you will need to follow the termite disclosure law to tell the home buyer. They will get a home inspection, and these issues will come to light one way or another. It’s not only the law to disclose, but the ethical thing to do. No one wants to find termite damage after closing.

You will also need to provide a termite inspection report, proof of termite treatment, and possibly a termite warranty. This can be cost-prohibitive for the home seller, so some choose to pursue this alternative.


If you can’t afford pest control treatment to stop active termites or face the cost of extensive structural damage, our company can help you.

We have a long history of buying termite-infested homes in Jacksonville, and aren’t scared of fixing this problem. As a cash buyer, we won’t require a traditional home inspection as our expertise is in repairing homes for resale. Issues like this are exactly what we plan on dealing with.

You won’t need to provide a termite letter or warranty, and we will remove the termites and make the repairs at our own cost.

Additionally, you will not have to pay closing costs if we choose to buy your termite-damaged house. It is hard to sell a house that has had termites to most home buyers, but we are not deterred by this. We buy homes directly from homeowners in as-is condition, and also inherited properties or houses currently in probate.


At this point you will have to weigh the information you have gathered. The cost to repair termite damage can be excessive and time-consuming.

Sometimes it is more profitable for you to sell the home in its current condition and simply move on. Obi Buys can get you a fast, free, and fair offer on your home in just a few minutes.

All you have to do is take the first step and reach out to discuss your Jacksonville property.

Give us a call today or fill out the form on this page. Let us help you get rid of the headache of termites so you can get your life back.

* We are not lawyers, nor are we attempting to provide legal advice in any way.  Please always seek the advice of qualified legal council if you have questions about real estate or any other legal matter.