In San Diego It’s not uncommon to see a fumigation tent on a house that’s being sold. I feel like the circus tent itself looks pretty shocking. In my experience, most homes have some sort of termite infestation evidence that appears upon inspection.
We tend to see fumigation tents on homes in escrow because wood destroying pest inspections are standard practice when a home is being sold. We order these termite inspections prior to putting our listings on the market. We like to know what it is going to cost to clear the home of possible infestation and handle any required repairs. Knowing the numbers helps us to negotiate with buyers without having any unknowns. These inspections tend to be offered for a very low price (less than $100). The cost of the inspection is often waived when the client agrees to do the work too.
Not every home that has termites needs to be fumigated. Many times the evidence of termites is only in one portion of the home. In this case, a local treatment can be performed. Fumigations are needed when there is evidence in multiple places throughout the house. By the way, on average, fumigations cost between $2,000 and $3,000 on an average sized home.
Most sellers who agree to a fumigation do it on their way out the door, right before the close of escrow. The real inconvenience is having to spend a few days elsewhere, which is not a big deal if a seller is moving anyways. By the way, It’s perfectly acceptable to have contents in home that is being fumigated. You can even leave food in the as long as it sealed in bags provided by the fumigation company.
The next time you see the circus in town, don’t worry. At some point we will all probably need to fumigate our houses.