Bug Basics: What’s the difference between a “Free” Termite Inspection and a Wood Destroying Insect Report (WDI)?
This question can plagues both a prospective home seller or a potential home buyer. This inquiry is especially confusing to some of our customers because we often talk about our free termite inspection. What is the difference?
“If your website says the termite inspection is free, then why do I need to pay for a termite letter?” That’s a wonderfully valid question.
Free Termite Inspection & Quote
We offer a Free Termite Inspection & Quote to homeowners that are interesting in knowing the current conditions of their home. During this inspection we check for termites and conditions that may be conducive to future termite infestations. We will make recommendations about what you, as a homeowner, can do to ensure that your home is properly protected. If termites are discovered, we will offer treatment options to remedy the immediate concern and protect the home in the future. We offer both preventative and curative treatments for termites. An inspection is not a guarentee that you do not have termites or that you will not get them. Termite Control Options
We suggest that a person who wants to sell their home should have a pre-inspection done before they put their house on the market. That will prevent any surprises when the WDI report is done.
That’s all well and good and pretty nifty. But what about the mysterious termite letter?
Wood Destroying Insect Report
Is a termite letter the same thing as a WDI? Yes. It is the same. It’s just called different names by different people.
A Wood Destroying Insect Inspection Report (Form NPMA-33) is a report that reports on the current conditions of a structure, at the time of inspection, in regards to particular pests. It is the official form recognized in the State of Tennessee that is completed and signed by a state certified pest control technician working for a state licensed and chartered company. Most banks and financial organizations require the completion of this report when buying or refinancing a home loan.
Surprisingly, many home sellers and buyers aren’t told very much about the termite letter. People call us knowing that they need some sort of termite inspection, but they don’t know what to call it or how to get it. And many times people are blindsided by the urgency of the letter or the cost.
The WDI report is generally accepted by the underwriters for 30 days from the date of the inspection. After this time, they will usually require a re-inspection. This is due to the fact that termites are active year round, and the report is only an inspection, and not a treatment. We recommend having an inspection completed after a closing date has been determined to ensure the report is within the 30 day window.
In Tennessee, many contracts are now written where the BUYER is responsible for the WDI termite report. This is a good idea, in theory, but can cause a headache for all involed if the home has evidence of prior ermite activity and is currently under a service warranty with a termite company. If a secondary company finds this evidence, they may recommend a new treatment. If they do, the seller will need to contact their company for a report detailing treatment, warranty status, and may be requested to perform a secondary WDI Report. It is usually a better idea to have the company that treated the home to provide the WDI Termite Report, if possible.
A helpful tip for those in need of a termite letter: Contact the pest control company ahead of time to make sure there’s availability in the schedule to get the inspection and the report submitted on time. Even a few days of notice is helpful, rather than a “night before” or “day of” sort of situation.
We highly recommend that our customers call us when it’s time to do a termite letter. Our termite treatment comes with an optional renewable warranty. In the event that termite activity is discovered during a wood destroying insect inpsection, we can re-treat the home if the renewable warranty was maintained on a home that we did the original treatment.