Temites in Toronto and The Damaged Done


Termites and The Damage Done

At one time we could say that termites were isolated to a handful of specific Toronto neighbourhoods. Unfortunately, today the spread of this voracious home eating pest can be located in Etobicoke, Toronto, Scarborough, East York, North York and Durham. As a realtor I’ve taken courses in how to identify these home wreckers and in showing any home to buyers my antennae is always active to locate signs of these destructive little buggers. One thing I will tell you, whether you have newer construction, an older home or a heritage home if there is wood in it they’ll eat it.

But what got me to blog about this was a listing that came out last year which deeply concerned me. Now, I was not part of this transaction; therefore I’m am legally bound not to provide the location of the property, the buyers, the sellers, the price it was sold for or any detail that would identify the house. However, what I can do is describe in general terms and speculate of what I think of the events which transpired.

If you viewed the home any good agent would see that the house had been treated termites at one point in time.

  1. Holes had been drilled into the interior and exterior to inject pesticide
  2. Termite tubes were visible from the basement in some floor joists
  3. Many main floor window sills signs of pervious repaired damage
  4. In the basement stairwell you could see damaged wooden support posts

This was not a neighbourhood that you would have normally expected to see termites, but location is never an excuse to lower ones guard. It was pretty obvious to any good realtor they were present, but the curious thing was in this listing there was no mention of termites- No Seller Property Information Statement. Houses sell with termites all the time and the industry norm is for the listing agent putting in a comment stating that XYZ company had treated the home and a warranty is transferable. Disclosure is key.

I checked the sales history on this house and I was right in that it had been treated for termites and disclosed in previous sales. So the seller and their agent knew. They held back offers and it sold for $24,000 over asking price with no inspection…ouch. There is no way on earth that this house would have sold over listing price if they had disclosure the presence of termites.

In the very near future the new buyers are going to make a nasty discovery…and it won’t be pretty. The future for these buyers is to reactivate the treatment & warranty and to contact their lawyer as the non-disclosure will initiate litigation both for the sellers, their agent and possibly the buying agent as well.

As I said, a not so happy story, but disclosure could have made a different outcome.