We are in the business of helping people. Selling/buying a home can be a stressful process and we want it to go smoothly as possible for you. You & your realtor need to do your homework regarding bat removal because there are variety of situations to be aware. Ownership changes can complicate the bat removal process. Removing bats from a home can take time - sometimes 6 months depending on the time of year. You have hibernation periods, maternity season, and summer that can have an impact. We are often contacted to remove bats when a ownership change is imminent and that is often stressful. Ownership changes will end our contract prematurely. We have established this policy to clarify our position on this matter.
We work with property owners as our single point of contact. If you are a Realtor representing the homeowner for a sale, we will only discuss our services with the homeowner directly. Then, it is up to both realtors to work up a solution that is best for their client.
If you are purchasing a home with bats it can be stressful. Understand that it is quite common for bats to live inside attics in Ohio. Bats can be sucessfully evicted from most homes. Be wary of 100 year of farm houses that have degraded structurally, or homes with cedar shake or slate roofs and realize that it could be difficult to locate a company to take on the project and the repairs can be cost prohibitive to some.
Here is how we handle changes in home ownership:
If you are selling a home, and are a customer, understand that a sale will end our service agreement term prematurely and payment will be due in full. We will cease all work once the home is sold, and contracturally, any obligation to do more work will end. Neither Propestmen of Ohio, Inc or your buyer are obligated to go under contract together after the sale. There are strategies to overcome this hurdle in many cases, and it is up to you to make a decision and live with it. Everyone's situation is a little different, depending on the time of year and buyer/seller goals.
If your home is under contract with an imminent closing:
Consider the time of year that bats are active, maternity season & hibernation period. You might find that the best strategy is to obtain some quotes to get the bats evicted and negotiate financial allowances for the buyer to complete the work after closing with a company of their choice. An attentive realtor will help you negotiate terms and set up an escrow account. Often, lenders require 1.5X the estimate of work to cover any overages. This helps protect everyone should there be any overages or if the buyer chooses a more expensive company. If your buyers expectations align with ours, they will contact us to schedule the work after they own the home. Realize that Propestmen and your buyer are under no obligation to work together after closing. We will bill them directly and they may get reimbursed for some/all their expenses though the escrow process (we are not part of that).
If you loose your buyer because of the bats:
At this point, you are looking to find a new buyer, provide assurance that the home is free from bats, and minimize risk of loosing next buyer. Do your research to understand how long it will take to get the bats evicted. You need to make a decision to either proceed with the bat exclusion project, or simply be prepared to escrow funds for the buyer to complete the work if evicting the bats is important to them.
You already started a bat exclusion and our service agreement term is ending with the sale:
To be good stewards to our industry & the public, we want to educate a new homeowner on the behavior of bats. If you started or completed a bat exclusion in the last 12 months, and our expectations are aligned with the new owners, we recommend that the new owners hire us under the extended warranty program. If we are a good fit with each other, we may enter into the extended warranty program for 1 year for the purposes of completing the project. There is no guarentee that our expectations will be aligned. We are under no obligation to go into contract with the new owner. And the new owner is free to hire a company of their choosing to accomplish their goals.
Please be aware, that payment for the extended warranty MUST be from the our (new) customer, the buyer. If you are a seller, please work this out with your buyer by escrowing funds, or simply letting them know that they will be responsible for paying for this service. We can not hold funds for you.
You have a buyer that only wants the attic cleaned out and restored:
Good luck with this one. There are buyers that are only concerned with having a urine and guano free attic. Having bats in the attic, must not bother them, and they just want a clean slate. We are not sure they understand that without a sucessful bat exclusion, the bats will simply mess up the attic over time. When these situations play out, it is usually the restoration company that pulls off the job because they uncover bats and are two frightened to proceed. We always recommend that a bat exclusion be completed prior to beginning any attic restoration work. Best practice is to give it a year or so to confirm that the bats have been sucessfully evicted for some time, and enroll in our extended warrenty program to help maintain it. An attentive realtor will realize that getting this accomplished prior to closing is not possible, and will consider establishing an escrow account to get both parties through this situation.
Customers who have had a bat exclusion in the past:
If you are planning to sell your home and want to determine if it is bat free, the process starts by contacting us as much as 6 months prior to sale - or during the summer. Bats are only active during the summer, and evaluating new bat activity could take a couple months. Bat hide, and determining their presence relies on discovering new droppings or listening for scratching noises. We don't live in your home to listen for noises. For these reasons, we can not determine if a home is bat free during one inspection. It is a process that takes time.
Having bats in an attic is quite common in Ohio. Home inspectors may discover droppings in your attic space. Buyers will have concerns, and will want to understand the potential problem. How do you know if the home is bat free or not? If there is droppings in your attic, how old are they? Has there been any new activity? These are concerns that can be documented over a period of time through our extended warranty program and the use of indicators.
If you have significant damage to insulation, determine if your homeowners policy will cover an attic restoration. Consult with a restoration company, and a good one will help you navigate your policy. If sucessful, you might save alot of money prior to listing your home.