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Don't let termites turn away buyers

14 Oct 13

If you're beginning a real estate career or are thinking about a foray into property management, you might be interested to learn about a recent study conducted by pest control experts Rentokil.

The study shows 65 per cent of Australians think a termite infestation would decrease a home's value by over 20 per cent. This should be of particular concern for those investing in and selling domestic property, as it's estimated by the CSIRO that one in four Australian homes are attacked by termites. 

Head of Marketing Services at Rentokil Kate Levy says that not only does termite infestation potentially lower the value of a home, but owners then have to take into consideration the average cost of termite damage. This cost is usually not covered by home insurance policies.

It's interesting to note that almost all South Australian homes are at risk of termites, regardless of their structure. While timber houses are more frequently targeted, steel-framed and masonry houses can also be affected by termites.

One of Ms Levy's real estate tips is to arrange for termite inspections as soon as possible in order to catch the critters before they cause too much damage. If left untreated, termite damage can eventually lead to a building collapse as the wood is eaten away.

Survey data also reveals that almost three quarters of buyers would remove a home from their shortlist if it was found to have termites. This means that an untreated termite infestation could have devastating results on a home's marketability.

Indications of a termite infestation include scratching sounds from within structures such as door frames. It usually occurs late at night and indicates the insects are foraging for food.

Professional services are available to search for and eradicate your home of termites, and it's recommended to have an inspection annually.