The Truth About “Free” Termite Inspections


Free!Many home inspection companies offer "free" termite inspections.  These "free" termite inspections are not truly "free" since you must pay for a home or building inspection to get your "free" termite inspection.  The United States Federal Trade Commission states:

When making "free" or similar offers all the terms, conditions and obligations upon which receipt and retention of the "Free” item are contingent should be set forth clearly and conspicuously at the outset of the offer so as to leave no reasonable probability that the terms of the offer might be misunderstood. (16 CFR §251.1(c)).

The full text of the Federal Trade Commission regulations can be found at www.ftc.gov/bcp/guides/free.htm.

Under the Federal Trade Commission rules, Heimer Engineering cannot use the word "free" when describing the termite inspections included at no extra charge with the home and building inspections.  For 40 years, Heimer Engineering has included a termite inspection with its home and building inspections at no extra charge.  In addition, you are provided you with the termite form many banks require when considering a mortgage, also at no extra charge.


Will the Bank
Accept the Termite Form?

Bank buildingA termite form issued by the National Pest Management Association is included with home and building inspections performed by the Licensed Professional Engineers of Heimer Engineering.  Banks generally accept these forms if there is no evidence of termites and there is no evidence of previous control measures.

If there is termite evidence, control measures are necessary.  If the house or building has already had termite control measures, the bank often requires that the seller transfer the termite warranty to buyer.

Click here for photographs of termites.

Some homes and buildings have had termite control measures, and there is no evidence of an active termite infestation.  In these cases, ask the seller for the termite warranty, and have this it transferred to you.  Most banks will accept this transferred termite warranty.

The question often arises as to whether termites found outside a home or building constitutes termite activity that must be reported to the bank.  Some banks do not require evidence of termite control measures if the termite activity is outside the home or building.  The termite activity will be reported on the termite form, and it is up to the bank mortgage underwriter to determine if termite control measures are necessary.

Click here to view a sample inspection report.


Heimer Engineering PC performs pre-purchase home, building, condominium unit, and co-op unit inspections, and provides other Engineering services.  Heimer Engineering PC only provides Engineering services in the State of New York.  Heimer Engineering PC does not provide contracting, construction, building, or repair services.  Heimer Engineering PC is not associated with any contracting, construction, or repair company.  This helps assure you of unbiased professional advice.