On your next purchase, will you need a bed bug cert?
As you read this, you may think this sounds crazy, even in today's market when everything seems to requrie a certification of some kind to sell a property. But over the past few years as the bed bug infestation has swept over the U.S., I often wondered if buyers would start hiring an exterminator to check for bed bugs.
Recently, one of our agents showed a property (used as a rental) and the client pointed out signs of these little critters lodged in the wooden doorframe of a bedroom. After further investigation, they realized the property was infested with bed bugs and promptly advised the listing agent, which leads to a second question....
Should the presence of bed bugs be disclosed?
In my opinion (let me also disclose that I have a miserable fear of insects - cockroaches, fleas, etc... but bed bugs rank at the top of my list) - YES! THis can fall under the "Other" section of a Seller's Disclosure. Bed Bug infestations are extremely difficult and costly to remedy. THese little SUCKERS (literally, they suck your blood) are the size of a pinhead and can live up to 1 year without food. THey lodge into walls, furniture and other furnishings and come out (mainly at night) to feed by the presence of carbon dioxide. Eradicating them is very difficult, and many methods fail. The most successful treatment is heat (above 115 degrees farenheit for about 10 min). THese methods can cost thousands of dollars and may need mutiple treatments.
TERMITES OR BED BUGS?
I don't know about you, but given the choice I'd rather have a termite infestation than a bed bug one. Imagine the psychological effect bed bugs will have. People have been known to throw items away, pay for treatment and still have anxiety that they have bugs crawling over them while sleeping.
I think this is something that will continue to rise as a major concern for people when buying a home. Look at the panic-stricken travel industry over this problem (I travel lightly and leave my luggage in the bathtub so bugs cant crawl into it; upon returning everything goes right to the dryer for 10 minutes).
An even bigger issue is, if a buyer sees the presence of bed bugs, can they legally terminate an agreement? I don't think so unless a clause is part of the agreement specific for this tetsing. Whatever the case, this is something we may have to deal with one way or another.