Termites in Independence, MO (Kansas City suburb)

5 Replies

Quick question for anyone with some experience dealing with this. I am under contract on a duplex, and during the inspection, we found evidence of an active termite infestation. My initial instinct was to back out immediately, however in talking to my realtor he is making it seem like its not an automatic deal breaker.

I certainly am going to request the seller fix the termite problem. There was evidence in the basement, and when you walk in the kitchen of both units you could feel the floor joints sink a little. That seems like a huge deal to me, but maybe not.

Really just looking for anyone with some general advice in dealing with properties that have termites.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated.



You can get a termite inspection and it will report the damage that needs to be fixed. This would give you a good idea of how much to ask the seller for in repairs or if it's worth it. Some people ask the seller to fix other people ask for a credit for repairs which you get that money at closing and can complete the repairs yourself and make sure they are done correctly.

@Brent Kiger

I had termites found in one of my properties. From what I understood it's not a huge deal as long as they haven't destroyed too much of the wood….supposedly the termites in KC aren't that aggressive as in other parts of the country. To treat them the cost was $500 and that is suppose to be good for 20 years. With that being said I would definitely get a structural engineer to look at your floor joist and the structure part of the house especially if you are noticing something that doesn't seem right & since termites were found. It's not expensive…a couple hundred bucks. I just had a house under contract where the whole structure needed a new center beam and floor joist had wood rot. I was able to negotiate 20K less in price to fix the problem. Was definitely money well spent to get the structural engineer in there. 

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This may actually work out in your favor as others have suggested. You're under a contract but you're doing an inspection for a reason. If you find something other than those things you already negotiated for, you can go back to the buyer and say "hey, I need the price to be lowered because...".

I've personally done this many times and ended up getting the house under contract a lot lower that originally. 

I'm an investor in Kansas city myself and you'll come across this kind of often

@Brent Kiger are you by any chance doing an FHA loan? Are you using our standard KCRAR contracts? If you answer yes to either of these questions, then more than likely the seller will HAVE TO treat the property for termites. Read your contract, paragraph 13, section F.

If you are not using the standard KCRAR contracts and you do not have an FHA loan, then it will be up to you and your agent to negotiate who will pay for the treatment.

Most important thing to know..... This Is NOT A Deal Breaker!  Every house in Kansas City that has wood siding, or a wood deck, or wood beams or any other piece of wood that comes into contact with the soil will eventually be visited by termites.  Its just a matter of time!  Termite treatment is very common in KC.  Most of the time, all you need to do is a yearly termite treatment.  If there is termite damage, your inspector can tell you exactly what needs to be done to fix it and then you can try to renegotiate your contract to get the seller to pay for it (or reduce the sale price).

Let us know how it turns out!

Hey Chris thanks for talking me off the ledge! When I first heard termites I wanted to cancel the deal right then, simply because of my ignorance to termites. I'm not using an FHA loan but rather a commercial investment loan, however the seller has agreed to remedy the termites and fix the damage done.

Really appreciate your insight, that came in at the right time!