It’s a nightmare scenario. A buyer moves into their would-be dream home, only to find uninvited residents: bed bugs. As infestations rise nationwide, bed bugs are increasingly affecting real estate sales transactions.
Know the Signs
Bed bugs are equal opportunity pests and “dirty” has nothing to do with it. These masterful menaces hitchhike their way into luxury apartments, suburban homes, even the local library and theater. Though not known to carry disease, their nighttime shenanigans are cause for severe physical and psychological discomfort. How can you identify these pests?
– Like mosquitoes, they come out at night to drink blood, leaving behind itchy red welts on their victims.
– With apple-seed-like bodies, bed bugs hide in the nooks and crannies of mattresses and sheets.
– They often leave behind dark fecal/blood stains on linens, mattresses, box springs, and carpets.
– Pearly-white, pea-sized egg deposits may be found along headboards, electrical plates, baseboards, and window casings.
– White, rice-like, exoskeletons from moltings are often found under area rugs.
Discuss Disclosure Dilemmas:
Though real estate sales agreements are broad, and don’t typically list bed-bug-specific issues, this doesn’t mean sellers are off the hook. Failure to list a bed bug infestation could be seen as a breach of disclosure of latent defects, leaving sellers liable for litigation.
Until states begin to incorporate bed-bug-specific realty regulations, hiring a pest control company, in addition to the typical home inspection, could be money well-spent.
If home sellers or new residents come across bed bugs, advise residents to seek professional help ASAP. Some home remedies are dangerous, and tossing bug-ridden items spreads bed bugs to neighbors. Bed bugs reproduce rapidly, and infestations can be costly to treat: $250-900 per room, and up to $5,000 for extreme infestations. Timely treatment is imperative.
Don’t let your career fall victim to bed bug bites. Stay informed on the latest issues effecting real estate sales with Properties Online today.