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No termite license can terminate the deal!

Recently a costly mistake happened that I thought would be a good idea to share with R.E agents, Sellers and Buyers.  As an FHA 203k loan originator I am use to dealing with lots of moving parts and working with all those involved in the transaction.  Recently though, to my surprise a transaction fell through that was already approved and over 30 days into the deal. So why did this deal crash?  Because it was found out that the person who did the termite inspection was not licensed at the time of the inspection.

Wow!!! That was a first for me but never the less an easy solution.  These were my options:

Option #1 – Have another person from that company sign the inspection who was licensed


Option 2 –  Get another company to go out and do a new inspection and estimate.

Now Option #1 is the easiest as this would not change any work that needs to get done and the report would remain the same.  But keep in mind that Option #2 may have a completely different outcome as now you will be using a different company who will be giving you a new inspection and report that may result in a new list of items to attend to.

In my case, Option #2 had to be exercised which revealed a lot more issues than the original termite report that was already on file.  Because not only was the person who did the inspection (apparently sole owner and only operator) not licensed at the time of inspection but he was still not licensed when the issue was investigated.

Typically, the Listing Agent or the Seller will select the termite company and most termite companies will offer a free inspection along with an estimate.  What typically isn’t done and often overlooked is checking to see if  the termite company is currently licensed. So Sellers, Buyers and R.E agents beware of these type of surprises and avoid unnecessary delays by making sure those that need to be licensed are.  Also keep in mind that a termite inspection is optional on FHA and Conventional loans as long as it stated in the purchase contract or a waiver is signed.

Check here for termite licensing status

Check here for contractor license status



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  • Interesting article regarding licensing for termite inspectors. Can you go after the original inspector for damages? I run into a lot of termite inspectors while doing home inspections in San Diego. While many of them are quality individuals, there are a few that are most certainly in the wrong line of work. I had a termite inspector last week visit a home and he completed his inspection in about 15 min. This was on a 4000 sq. ft. home.


    • According to the pest control board for your state in California, a complaint can be made against the licensee or company which can lead to disciplinary action if it is warranted and not resolved. For any restitution though you could pursue the matter in small claims court, consult with an attorney or put in a claim against their bond.

      More information on regarding this matter can be found at:



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