A WDO Home Inspection Contingency, as it is presented in the standard Florida Realtor’s Residential Contract For Sale And Purchase, protects both the buyer and the seller. The Wood-Destroying Organism (termites, wood-eating beetles and wood destroying fungi) inspection and the buyer’s request for repairs must be completed by the inspection deadline stated in the contract. If left blank, it defaults to 15 days after the contract was signed and delivered to all parties (Effective Date).
In South Florida, most mortgage lenders will require a WDO inspection report because our hot, humid climate is a termite’s Paradise. WDO licensed inspections look for current and past, previously treated, damage caused by termites, wood-eating beetles and wood destroying fungi.
If the buyer misses the deadline for the inspection, they may not be able to obtain a loan if the sellers refuse to extend the deadline. This might happen if the sellers have received backup offers that are more favorable than the current accepted one.
On page 3 of our standard 14-page contract, there’s a section entitled COSTS TO BE PAID BY SELLERS and includes the maximum amount of money the seller will be required to pay for the repair (WDO Repair Limit) of the WDO damage. If a dollar amount or percentage of the purchase price is blank, it defaults to1.5 percent of the purchase price.
Once the seller receives the request to fix the WDO damage, they have 10 days to obtain an estimate of the repairs and repair the damage If the required work costs less than the WDO Repair Limit.
If the estimate of required work exceeds the WDO Repair Limit, seller has 5 days after receiving the estimate to deliver it to the buyer. The buyer can then do one of two things: buyer agrees to pay any repair costs that exceed the WDO Repair Limit, or the buyer delivers an itemized list of repairs to be done whose total value does not exceed the WDO Repair Limit. If the buyer fails to respond to the seller’s estimate of repair costs that exceed the limit, then either party may cancel the contract.
If the property has been previously treated for WDO and there is no sign of current infestation, the seller must transfer a full treatment warranty to the buyer at the closing.
NOTE: There are situations in which a home must be vacant in order to be treated. In cases like this, my experience has been that a mortgage lender will allow the treatment to occur after closing as long as there is proof that the service has already been paid for.