When you realize you have a house with a snake infestation, the selling process can cause some headaches - and quickly. This is especially true when venomous snakes are present such as rattlesnakes or copperheads. Not only do these snakes scare people, but they can also be deadly for both humans and pets.
If you’re searching for some advice on how to sell your snake-infested home, we’re here to help. Below are the most frequently asked questions about selling houses with snake infestations.
Is it legal to sell a home with a snake infestation?
Yes, you can legally sell a home with a snake infestation. But only if you disclose prior knowledge of the outbreak to the buyer before finalizing the sale. Failing to disclose previous knowledge of a snake infestation could lead to future problems, and create a more expensive process because you may have to pay for the removal.
What if they live outside or in the yard? Do I need to disclose this?
Yes. If a snake infestation exists anywhere on the property, you must disclose this information to the buyer. If not, possible future disputes can become complicated from a legal perspective. The wise choice is disclosing the existence of the snake infestation and working with the buyer on ways to eradicate it.
Who pays for snake removal?
You are not required to cover the costs of extermination - even if snakes do show up on the pest inspection. Ultimately, the responsibility falls on the buyer, though they can use the infestation as a bargaining factor and ask for a lower price. Some sellers work together with a buyer, offering to cover costs of the infestation to sell the house more quickly.
Can snakes cause damage to the home?
Yes - they can burrow holes underneath steps or support beams, which could threaten the structural integrity of the home. This can cause a dangerous situation for residents, especially if the snake infestations have existed for a long period of time. Although snakes don’t feed on baseboards or other structural components like mice or other rodents, they can still cause serious damage to a home.
How do I prevent snakes from entering the property or home?
Snake prevention will depend on numerous factors, including the extent of the infestation and the condition of the home. The most important thing to do is find how they enter your home and where they hide once they are inside. Snakes, including the deadly rattlesnake, enter through cracks, holes, under doors, entryways, pipes, and split foundations; these structures will often need to be replaced entirely in older homes, which could be costly.
Unfortunately, prevention is only one step of the process. Sellers must also assess structural damage to see whether or not snake infestations have compromised the value of the home. Snakes do not bite through walls.
How can I tell if this is the first infestation?
You can tell if this is the first infestation by observing multiple visual clues, including how much molted skin you find from shedding, and eggs. The typical snake sheds two to four times a year, though young snakes can shed as often as every two weeks. If you’re observing sheds for the first time, this typically results in a first-year infestation.
If you detected molted skin on the property in year’s past, the infestation was likely there but hidden. While determining how long the snake infestations have existed can be a challenge, conducting an inspection could help determine the extent of the infestation.
How can I test for a snake infestation?
If you saw molted skin or snakes slithering around your property, and are suspicious of a potential snake infestation, you can use the flour test. The flour test involves laying down some flour in a warm or heated area and waiting a few days. If there are snake trails left by the flour than a possible snake infestation exists.
Do people buy houses with snakes and why?
Buyers often purchase homes with snake infestations to negotiate a lower rate, and either rehab or flip the house in the future. While many horror stories exist of lawsuits involving unwanted snake infestations, investors may be interested in such properties to turn a quick profit.
If you’re looking to sell your house with slithering villains fast, we’re ready to help. Call us today and finally get rid of your snake problem once and for all.
You can also read up on other kinds of common infestation problems that people face:
- Bed Bugs