Pest control is a major issue in homes across the United States. In fact, estimates state that termite damage alone costs more than five billion dollars annually. If the owner of a home does not catch and rectify termite damage quickly, damages can amount exponentially.

As a buyer, there are two main ways that you will encounter sellers dealing with termite damage. According to Home Light, sellers can either move forward with the house on the open market and disclose the termite damage fully or sell the house as-is to a cash buyer.

Disclosing the damage

This option is likely the more common of the two. While the rules surrounding disclosure are different depending on the state, in Alabama there is “caveat emptor,” which means “let the buyer beware.”

This essentially means that while it is the buyer’s job to look out for home defects (usually by means of a home inspection), the seller must answer all of the buyer’s questions truthfully. That is, if the house has a termite infestation and the buyer asks about it, the seller must then disclose. It is generally wisest for sellers to fully disclose termite damage to buyers and then explain what the seller has done to rectify the infestation, no matter if the buyer asks or not.

Selling as-is with cash

This option is usually chosen by sellers who do not have the cash reserves to pay for termite repair. Sellers who prioritize a quick sell above anything else may also choose this option. With this option, sellers must disclose termite damage under the same rules as a regular sale. Sellers should also anticipate taking a huge price cut that will likely be more than the anticipated cost of repairs.