Pest Inspection for Home Purchase: Who Should Pay?

Mar 23, 2024 | Residential Pest Control

Pest Inspection for Home Purchase: Who Should Pay?

In most home purchases, the responsibility for paying for a pest inspection can be negotiated, but traditionally, it’s often the buyer who takes on this cost. When you’re in the process of buying a home, understanding who pays for the pest inspection is not just a detail—it’s an essential part of protecting your investment. This inspection is crucial for uncovering any hidden issues that could cost thousands of dollars to fix down the line.

In this article, you’ll gain insight into how to determine who should cover the cost of a pest inspection during the home-buying process. From legal expectations to negotiating tips that can save you money, we’ve got you covered. Whether you’re buying your first home or adding to your property portfolio, knowing these details can make a significant difference in your real estate transactions.

Key takeaways

  • Negotiating the responsibility for a pest inspection is a standard part of the home-buying process, with the buyer often assuming this cost. However, the exact terms can vary based on the negotiation between the parties involved.
  • Conducting a pest inspection is a crucial step in the home purchasing process, as it can uncover hidden pest infestations or damage that could lead to significant financial burdens down the line.
  • If a pest inspection reveals infestations or damage, it can provide the buyer with leverage to negotiate a reduction in the sale price, or alternatively, it may compel the seller to address these issues prior to finalizing the sale.
  • While not universally mandated, opting for a pest inspection is a prudent decision for buyers, offering them assurance that the property is free from pest-related issues, which could affect the property’s value and safety.
  • Effective communication and negotiation regarding the pest inspection can facilitate a smoother transaction, ensuring clarity and satisfaction for both the buyer and seller in the home-buying process.

Do I need to get a pest inspection when buying a house?

While most home purchases require a home inspection where an inspector may find unwanted pests, a pest inspection is not always a requirement. However, some lenders may require a pest inspection, such as a termite inspection, before completing a home purchase.

While California does not require a pest inspection despite regular termite infestations, as a homebuyer, you want the peace of mind that a pest inspection offers. For example, other pests, such as cockroaches or rodents, can spread bacteria and viruses that can be potentially dangerous for you and your family. Making sure your home is pest-free with a pest inspection before you purchase provides additional security and may even be required by your homeowner’s insurance.

Understanding Who Pays for Pest Inspections

When it comes to pest inspections in the home-buying process, the question of who pays is not set in stone. Instead, it’s often a point of negotiation between the buyer and the seller, influenced by local real estate practices, specific terms agreed upon in the purchase contract, and the negotiation skills of the parties involved. This flexibility means there’s an opportunity to strategically determine who should bear this cost, which can sometimes be a significant amount.

Buyer’s Perspective

Typically, the buyer is the one who initiates and pays for the pest inspection. This approach makes sense for several reasons:


  • Control and Trust: By choosing the pest inspection company, the buyer can select a service they trust to be thorough and unbiased.
  • Negotiating Leverage: Discovering pest issues before finalizing the purchase gives the buyer leverage to negotiate repairs, a lower sale price, or even to back out of the deal if necessary.
  • Peace of Mind: Knowing the exact condition of the property regarding pests ensures that the buyer is making a well-informed decision, avoiding costly surprises down the line.

Seller’s Perspective

However, there are circumstances where the seller might opt to pay for the pest inspection:


  • Market Advantage: A clean pest inspection report can be a powerful tool in attracting buyers, especially in competitive markets.
  • Speeding Up the Sale: Addressing any pest issues beforehand can expedite the closing process by removing potential obstacles.
  • Regulatory Requirements: In some areas, local regulations may require the seller to provide a pest inspection report before the sale of a home.

Negotiating Who Pays

The decision of who pays for the pest inspection is often reached through negotiation. A buyer may ask the seller to cover this cost as part of their offer, especially if other bids are competitive or if the seller is eager to close quickly. Conversely, sellers might include a pest inspection as part of the sale package to make their home more appealing or to demonstrate good faith in the condition of the property.

In the end, the key is communication and negotiation. Both parties should discuss their concerns and expectations regarding the pest inspection openly. A mutual agreement on who pays for the pest inspection can lead to a smoother transaction and ensure that both the buyer and seller are satisfied with the deal.

Understanding the dynamics of who pays for pest inspections is just the beginning. It’s also essential to know why these inspections are crucial and how they fit into the broader context of buying a home. As we delve deeper into the importance of pest inspections, remember that this step is not just about determining responsibility but about ensuring the quality and safety of your future home.

What is a pest inspection?

A pest inspection is a thorough search of a home, both inside and outside, looking for bugs, rodents, and other household pests that can cause damage to the structure of the home, as well as present potential health hazards. A pest control and pest management specialist will look for live bugs and pests, droppings, as well as evidence of prior infestation and damage, such as termite damage. They will look for potential areas of entry where pests can get in and infest the home.

What does a pest inspection entail?

To better understand what a pest inspection entails, let’s take a closer look at exactly what the technician does when looking for signs of potential pest problems and damage and what they provide the homeowner and buyer.

1. Signs of infestation

A pest inspection begins with a thorough inspection of both the interior of the home as well as the surrounding property. A technician will examine all areas of the property, including garages, sheds, attics, and crawl spaces. They are looking for the presence of bugs, such as wood-destroying insects, or other pests, such as rodents, snakes, and spiders. They identify potential points of entry where the pests are getting in and identify any pests found.

2. Structural evaluation

A home pest infestation begins when pests get into your home. Oftentimes, this means that pests have taken advantage of existing structural openings or created a way in on their own, causing structural damage as they go. A pest technician looks for potential points of entry and signs of potential structural damage, such as wood damage from termites or damage to wiring and insulation from rodents.

3. Pest inspection report

When a pest inspector identifies a pest infestation, they provide the seller and the buyer with a detailed report that outlines the type of pest infestation and any potential damage the pest did to the home. In addition, they provide recommendations for treatment and a price estimate for the necessary treatment.

4. Recommendations and instructions for treatment and damage repair

If home damage is discovered, the technician will provide a detailed report that highlights the damage as well as recommendations for repair. When damage is detected, they often provide a report to the home appraiser that will often require damage repair before the sale.

How long does a pest inspection take?

The average pest inspection can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a couple of hours. This depends on the size of the home and what the technician discovers during their inspection. If an infestation or damage is discovered and repairs and extermination are necessary, your lender may require an additional inspection to ensure everything was exterminated and the damage was repaired.

How much does a pest inspection cost?

Pest inspections can range from $75 to a few hundred dollars, depending on the size of the home and the pest control company chosen. This price is only for the inspection and does not cover any potential extermination measures or repairs.

Ensure the home you are buying is pest-free

While a pest inspection is not always required, as a buyer, it is beneficial to know ahead of time if your dream home comes with unwanted roommates. Unfortunately, pests like termites can cause thousands of dollars in damage well before they are identified, and buying a home that is already being eaten away by termites could cost you thousands down the road. Choosing a pest inspection before buying a home can save you these costs, with the seller often having to remedy the infestation and damage before the sale will go through.

Give yourself peace of mind when buying a new home

If you are looking to purchase a new home but want to make sure the home is pest-free, the team of experts at Arrest A Pest is here to help. Our technicians specialize in pest identification, discovering potential points of entry that can be corrected, identifying potential structural damage, and repairing solutions. In addition, once you purchase the home, our team can help ensure your home remains pest-free and safe for you and your family.

To learn more, schedule an appointment today.

Adam Judnich

Adam Judnich

Owner @ Arrest A Pest

Serving the entire Coachella Valley

Arrest A Pest is your top-rated pest and bug control solution in the Coachella Valley! As a family-owned and operated business, our technicians grew up in the Coachella Valley and have a deep understanding of the pests in our area.

We understand that every pest infestation is an emergency, and we offer quick, safe, and thorough pest solutions and preventions for your home or business. No matter what pests are invading your space, our technicians are armed with state-of-the-art technology designed to rid your home or business of pests and help you stay pest-free long into the future.

Contact us today to schedule your FREE evaluation and let our team send the pests packing!

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