Posted By nat wallen @ May 13th 2014 10:00am In: Real Estate

I'm selling a home in the Mount Pleasant area and I am probably dealing with the most diligent sellers I've ever had the fortune of helping. Their closing is the perfect example of “no detail is too small”, especially when it comes to termite letters in Charleston South Carolina.

The homeowners are medical professionals that have relocated to Philadelphia. Their home is in the Old Village and I knew from day one that they would be completely ready, willing and able to take care of all obstacles since the moment I met them.

The house epitomizes what buyers look for in the Old Village. A large Victorian built in 1920 that sits on a large corner lot ,with a big wraparound porch. (It's a beautiful property that sits caddy corner to a quaint little church.)

As I mentioned, the sellers are very diligent. When I suggested early on that they obtain a home inspection, there were no questions at all on my advice. Without even have a buyer in place, they hired a local company and paid for an inspection, as they wanted to make sure there was nothing that would stand in our way when we did find a buyer.

I truly enjoyed working with sellers like this, as there are so many challenges that come about when selling homes these days. Finding someone that is on the same team completely, and this is willing to do what it takes, is really helpful.

As you may know, termite letters are a big part of real estate transactions in South Carolina. When an inspector comes, not only is he checking for past termites, powder post beetles, and other pests, he is also checking for high moisture readings. This crawlspace was in exceptionally good condition, at least, that is what we thought going into it (further into this post, you will see we were pretty much correct)

My first step when I found out about the high moisture reading was to contact the termite inspector. Always a good idea to try to get the person that writes a document to interpret it for you. I say this because most documents look scary when dealing with real estate closings. Inspections can be a long list of tiny little to-do’s that can seem very daunting to sellers that are already stressed about moving.

After I spoke with the inspector, it turns out that the mountain that I received in my email, actually just turned out to be a very small molehill.

In fact, it was a simple, tiny leak underneath the powder room. The rest of the crawlspace was suggesting conditions between 8 and 12% moisture levels. This is very low (20% and above is reason for alarm). Even though the rest of the crawlspace was great, the pinhole leak was producing high moisture readings, which in turn made our termite letter “dirty” (that is industry jargon). We had to take steps to “clear it” (more industry jargon.)

Even though I am sure the company realized it was minor; termite inspectors are not contractors. This can be a little bit frustrating from a real estate agent’s perspective, as even the smallest things that raise questions in a termite inspectors mind require a contractor to a valuate. In this case it was warranted, but every time a termite letter is ordered, we see the writing on the wall. We are 90% sure our next step will be to find a willing contractor that will come and take a look at some of the smallest items.

Contractors are a very necessary part of this process, and having a good one is important. As I mentioned already, termite inspectors are not contractors, and when they find something questionable, they have to divert their thoughts to an expert. They are also diverting any liability, which is the way that South Carolina sets it up for them. This mean more steps for realtors, but that's okay, buying a house is a big decision and we want to make sure that every aspect (no matter how big or small) is addressed.

I called my contractor to set up an appointment to meet, so he could evaluate the situation, make repairs (if necessary), and ultimately “clear” the termite letter. He has handled so many of these for me in the past that I almost don't even have to talk when he picks up the phone. He already knows what I need, when I need it, and even how it has to be written on his letterhead with his license number included.

So what's the point?

Well nothing big (literally)…Just pointing out the fact that even the smallest detail is as important as the largest when it comes to selling homes in the Charleston area.

This quintessential old village home in Mount Pleasant, SC was no exception.

For more info visit Homes for Sale in Charleston SC



Nat Wallen Real EstateNat Wallen is a Realtor in Charleston SC specializing in residential property sales. He has been licensed since 1995 and is the top listing agent with Carolina One Real Estate. Carolina One Real Estate is the largest company in the Charleston SC area of 700 plus agents. For more detailed information, visit his homepage at natwallen.comNOTE: Nat Wallen never solicits consumers interacting with his blog unless requested. YOUR comments are encouraged and welcomed. Thanks!

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