Structural pest control inspection

Is it true that California law does not require that a structural pest control inspection be performed prior to transfer of a real property?

But if required by the purchase contract or by the lender, the seller or the seller’s agent must deliver the WDO report, prepared by a registered structural pest control company, regarding the presence or absence of wood-destroying organisms?

The seller provides the report? Is that correct? Isn’t there a conflict of interest there? A little bias in the report by the seller?

NY State law doesnt require it, either. In fact, I wonder if any state “requires” it. These inspections may or may not be required by the LENDER.

A couple of things here. First off, unless its a 203K, VA, or FHA loan, the issue of a licensed pest control company does not come into play. In fact, the Feds do not actually require the inspector to be a licensed applicator. The Feds simply want to know if the inspector has received a state certification in the process. So, as an example, here in NY one needs only be licensed as a pest control technician with the state. Many times, the bank wone give it a 2nd look. They rarely care. Now, your STATE may have some additional rules… but most do not. In fact, there is some differing opinion on this issue in the State of PA. I did a pest inspection for friends of mine. I was licensed in NY. I inspected in PA. The bank and attorneys accepted the report, with no questions asked.

Also, you speak of wood destroying organisms, which is different than a structural pest inspection. A pest inspection is looking for insects, whereas an organism can include mold.

As to the conflict of interest, there is none. A seller contracts a company. That company assumes the liability for a bad pest inspection. It becomes an issue of liability.

Yes, for the most part, that’s true - the seller is not required or obligated unless they contractually agree to it.

The standard CA Association of Realtors purchase agreement will list this as a contingency for the seller to accept. In the case of REO or short-sale, the seller will remove this provision and make it the responsibility of the buyer.

Here’s the rub;

The buyer of a property is forbidden to do any modifications/alterations to the property prior to transfer - this includes destructive testing, which is generally required during a wdi/pest inspection - without the written consent of the current owner.

On top of that, many lenders will refuse to fund without a “termite clearance,” which is why the provision made it to the purchase contract to begin with.

It’s a “catch 22” for the buyer if they accept responsibility for the termite clearance. Any destructive testing must be repaired to “original condition” (if the transaction is not completed for any reason) at the buyers expense.

If significant damage is discovered, no contractor will touch it without repairing the wdo damage.

There is the potential for a buyer to lose a substantial amount of money if they accept the responsibility for a termite clearance. The risk is too great. That is why it generally falls onto the seller.

No most of the time the buyer Orders the inspection.

Sometimes a seller will get a pre-sale inspection.

We as State Licensed inspectors do not work for the buyer or the seller. one of them may pay for the report. But thats it

**The state sets the inspection standards in the CALIF. Structural Pest Control Board ACT. **

If an inspector overlooks something he now owns it. and will fix it. free of charge. these report are just shy of a full on home inspection. the only things an inspection will not cover is the hvac, types of of plumbing. the electrical and construction standards. everything Else is on the table.

The Wild Wild West.:mrgreen:


Ron Bibler
Excellence Exterminating
Excellence Home/Building Inspection Service
Excellence Thermal Imaging

We always recommend the buyer get their own letter. No laws regulating who orders it here in SC but it’s much safe if the buyer gets it.

HomeSpectors Termite and Pest Control in Charlotte NC
1800 Camden Rd Suite 1071
Charlotte NC 28203


I agree the other day a pest guy almost took as long as I did…hummm Me $300.00 them $75.00 ouch!

I am trying to find a SPI agreements. I am finding myself doing SPI’s even when I’m not doing Home Inspections. Does InterNachi have a template for them?

It is asked for when people call us. We have a company we partner with and offer a bundle inspection.

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