Can termite damage be a dealbreaker in real estate sales?

On Behalf of | May 3, 2024 | Purchase, Sale And Loan

Buying and selling property can be complex, depending on the sale’s circumstances. Sometimes, the purchase can run smoothly, requiring little to no additional procedures or expenses. Other times, the sale can go in different directions with every new detail revealed about the property, such as investigation findings indicating termite damage.

How can it derail a sale?

Properties for sale can vary, ranging from newly constructed structures to worn buildings that may require some work. Most of the time, sellers disclose these issues upfront, sharing what damage buyers should note when deciding.

In some scenarios, the buyers will be okay with going ahead with the next steps in the purchase, which usually involves inspections required by lenders. During this step, the arrangement between the lender and the borrower may fall through if the property has termite damage. The risk exists for both parties, but more so for the lender.

If the borrower decides to abandon the property because of severe termite damage long after closing the sale, the lender is left with the remaining balance of the loan. To protect the lender’s interest, borrowers may need to pay for termite inspection. Sometimes, it can be manageable, requiring pest control services before finalizing closing. Other times, the damage can be too severe for both the lender and buyer, making them bow out of the deal.

Withdrawing from a real estate purchase appropriately

It may seem reasonable to have the right to withdraw from a purchase at any time, but doing so can have specific repercussions in some scenarios. Sometimes, being able to terminate a sale can become tricky based on the circumstances and the timing, such as during closing. In this situation, seeking legal counsel could be crucial to helping determine appropriate ways to pull out of a deal and the consequences of this decision.