3 Effective Tips for Selling a House with Rats

by | Aug 27, 2019

It doesn’t take long to grow tired of dealing with a rodent problem. Even when you’ve lived in and loved a house for years, just deciding what to do—and how to safely go about doing it—can be exhausting. Rats are a particular nuisance, too. Not only can they damage the insulation and wiring in your home, but they can also spread serious diseases such as salmonella and leptospirosis. They also harbor fleas, ticks, and lice—all of which can end up infesting your home as well, further increasing your family’s risk of contracting an illness.

But, when it’s also time to move—whether it’s because you want to be closer to your aging parents or are getting married and moving in with your spouse—the seriousness of your problem can take on a whole new meaning.

Do you deal with the issue directly before putting your home on the market or can you get rid of your problem by ridding yourself of the property as-is? Is selling a house with rats even an option?

The Problem of Selling a House with Rats

Selling a house with rats is possible, but it’s also problematic. Most home buyers, particularly if they have small children, elderly parents, or family members and friends with autoimmune disorders, won’t even consider purchasing your house. The health risk is simply too great.

But, the potential threat to health isn’t the only issue. More often than not, buyers simply want a move-in ready house. That makes buying a property full of pests a very low priority.

Plus, depending on how fast you need or want to sell, a home infested with rats can prevent the sale of your house from going through quickly—if it sells at all. You may not be in a hurry, but that doesn’t mean you’ve got all the time in the world either.

However, if buying a new home is contingent upon you selling the old one, for example, or you’d just like to move before the kids start school, then having your house sit for months on the market is going to be inconvenient at best. At worst, it will be costly—especially if you have to move and, therefore, end up having to pay for two mortgages.

To help you effectively get through this so that you can sell your home sooner rather than later, take a look at our top tips below. One of these solutions will work at solving your rat problem. 

Three Tips to Get Your House Sold Fast

1. Call the Exterminator

A professional exterminator will remove the rats from your property, seal off entry points to prevent reinfestation, and offer advice on how to clean, disinfect, and deter additional pests.

Your cost for the service will depend on several factors, like the size of the colony, rat species if other pests are discovered, and how large your home is.

At a minimum, you can expect to spend hundreds of dollars.

The initial inspection provided by the exterminator should include an estimate of your cost and of the method or methods they intend to use.

Of course, there are benefits to using a professional. First, you don’t have to worry about handling any traps—or the injured or dead rats that get caught in them—nor do you have to expose your family, your pets, or yourself to dangerous poisons. 

Second, you don’t have to wonder whether or not all of the rats were removed. The best exterminators will almost always do a better, and safer, the job of ridding your home of rodents than you will. Most will provide at least a temporary guarantee, too. Since your primary goal is to sell your home, any guarantee can go a long way toward inspiring buyer confidence—and the writing of an offer.

2. Handle the Rats Yourself

Though it may take more time to handle the rats on your own, it could cost you a little less money. And, that may be enough of a reason to try. You’ll have to keep all food locked away from access and continually wash the dishes. You’ll have to buy all the traps or the poison and, without knowing which species you’re dealing with or how big the colony is, you might have to try one or more methods to be really effective. 

And, you’ll need to block all potential entry points such as holes in the floor, cracks in the walls, and gaps in the framework to ensure the rats don’t return once you’re rid of them.

It’s a lot of work to take on—so, you should do more detailed research before you even get started.

But, if money is an issue, DIY pest control could be your method.

Keep in mind, however, that whether you call an exterminator or handle the rats yourself, your responsibilities don’t end as a seller simply because your rat problem does. You may have to replace drywall, insulation, or parts of the electrical system, for example (or give a discount to the buyer who will). You’ll certainly have to thoroughly clean and disinfect the house as well as make every effort to keep it that way. 

Rats are crafty creatures. So, if they’re tempted to come back in, they will likely try.

Unfortunately, these are the costs that can really add up, too—in both time and money. And, if you don’t have several weeks or a few thousand dollars to spare on repairs, you could again find yourself with a house you’re not able to sell.

3. Hand Over the Problem to a Cash Buyer

Depending on the condition of the rest of your house, and whether the rats have caused extensive damage themselves, you might just want to hand over your home—and all of its problems—to a cash buyer. 

Though the idea of selling your home ‘as-is’ may sound too good to be true, an experienced home buying specialist can take your house off of your hands and offer cash with zero fees or commissions.

Since buying and repairing homes that have problems is what they do, a property infested with pests won’t scare them away. They’ll even buy a house with foundation issues, outdated plumbing, and an old leaky roof. You won’t have to repair, clean, or even move anything that you don’t want to. The right buyer will handle it all. The only thing you have to do is give them a call.

Move on from Your Rat Problem with Cash in Hand  

Here at Sell Your House Direct, we aren’t afraid of dealing with pests. In fact, we aren’t afraid to take on any issues you may have with your home.

So, whether you’re selling a house with rats, foundation problems, or just a lot of clutter, we’ll still happily make you a fair offer.

Not only that, but we’ll put cash in your hand in seven days or less so that you can move on with little or no stress—taking only what you want from the house and leaving the rest for us to handle.

Plus, because we’re not just home buying specialists but real estate advisors, too, we’ll even help you decide if we’re the right buyer for you.

The fact of the matter is that your bottom line may benefit more from fixing up your home if you’ve got the time and money. That’s why, for every SYHD client, we provide a net sheet to break down all of your potential costs so that you can see for yourself what your profit will be—and we do this for free.

Because, in the end, you may decide to sell to us and you may not. But, as long as your problem is solved, we’ll know we’ve done our job.

Get an offer today from a home buying specialist who won’t see this rat situation—or your house—as hopeless. You could have one less thing to worry about and a cash offer with zero fees and zero closing costs.
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