The mere mention of bed bugs is enough to send any homeowner into a full-blown panic. To make matters worse, bed bugs have become more prevalent – mainly due to the rise of global travel and second-hand shopping.
Not only do bed bugs invade your home and cause painful bites, but they also make it more challenging to sell your house. In this guide, we’ll answer the questions you have about selling your home with bed bugs. But first, let’s learn a little bit more about these unwelcome house guests.
Bed bugs are parasitic insects that feed on humans and animals. Beds bugs are small (adult bed bugs are about the size of a grain of rice) and typically hide in beds/bedframes/headboards, rugs, curtains, and picture frames.
Though bed bugs are tiny, they are visible to the naked eye. However, they are hard to spot since they usually only come out of hiding at night – which is why you wake up with bite marks on your skin.
Though bed bugs are infamously difficult to find, there are some telltale signs to look out for that could signify an infestation:
- Specks of blood or brown spots on your sheets/bedding
- Itchy, red bumps on your skin
- Seeing bed bugs on your bed, walls, or furniture
It’s crucial to seek help at the very first sign of infestation. Additionally, you should be sure to clean all bedding, linens, and carpets immediately after you first suspect bed bugs. Avoiding the problem will only worsen the situation and make the infestation harder to treat.
Unfortunately, bed bug infestations are not uncommon – an estimated 1 in 5 Americans have experienced a bed bug problem in their home or knows someone who has.
Contrary to popular belief, a home doesn’t have to be dirty to attract bed bugs – although an unclean home may make bed bugs harder to spot.
So, how do bed bugs get into your home?
- Traveling: The rise in bed bugs is primarily due to increased rates of travel. Bed bugs can latch onto your luggage or clothing while traveling and follow you back home – a souvenir you certainly didn’t ask for.
- Second-hand items: Shopping second-hand has increased in popularity in recent years, with many people buying used furniture, clothing, and other items. This is great for your wallet – but not so great for keeping bed bugs out of your house.
- Visting an infested home: Another cause of bed bugs is unknowingly visiting a house with an infestation. Unfortunately, all it takes is a few minutes of sitting on a couch for a bed bug to jump onto your clothing or purse.
Most states don’t have specific laws that make selling a house with bed bugs illegal. However, some states have specific “disclosure” laws that require you to inform potential buyers about any ongoing pest issues.
Even if disclosure laws don’t exist in your state, it’s never a good idea to knowingly sell a home with a bed bug or other type of pest infestation without informing the buyer. Though some states don’t require bed bug disclosure, it’s recommended to avoid any potential lawsuits in the future.
So, what’s the bottom line? Bed bug disclosure laws vary by state, so it’s always better to err on the side of caution and disclose any known bed bug problems upfront.
How to Sell a House With Bed Bugs
If you’re looking to sell your house with a bed bug problem, here are a few options to consider:
- Hire a pest control company: One way to sell your house with bed bugs is to hire an exterminator to get the issue under control. Since many buyers will be reluctant to purchase a house with bed bugs, your best bet is to hire a professional that can eradicate the pests from your home once and for all.
- Sell as-is: If you can’t afford to pay an exterminator or need to sell your house ASAP, one option is to sell your house as is. If you decide to sell as is, you should tell the buyer about the bed bug issue so they can make an informed decision.
The cost to get a bed bug problem under control will depend on the severity of the infestation, the size of your home, and the type of treatment used. For a minor bed bug problem, you could pay as little as $300-$500, and for a more serious infestation, you can expect to pay about $1500.
Once you hire a pest control company to fix your bed bug problem, make sure to save your receipt and any final report provided by the exterminator. That way, you have proof that shows you addressed the issue.
Unfortunately, your homeowner’s insurance won’t cover the costs of bed bugs or any type of pest removal as they consider pest infestations a home maintenance issue – therefore, the cost of bed bug treatment falls on you.
Bed bugs are experts at concealing themselves, making them extremely difficult to identify – even for trained professionals. Traditional home inspections typically don’t include checking for bed bugs – which is why most home buyers request a pest inspection in addition to the regular home inspection.
Though bed bugs make selling your home more challenging, it’s not impossible. There are options available such as dealing with the problem yourself by hiring an exterminator or finding a buyer willing to buy as-is.
Even with the help of an exterminator, it could take months to eradicate bed bugs from your home completely.
If you’re looking to sell a house with bed bugs fast, consider selling to us! We are reputable house flippers in Massachusetts who have helped hundreds of homeowners sell quickly for a fair cash price. We buy homes in any condition, including houses with bed bugs.
Visit our website to request your free cash offer or give us a call at 781-309-7085 today!