Just say no to unwanted pests.

Spring is here, and that means motivated homeowners are gearing up for the warm-weather real estate season. Unfortunately, it can also mean an uptick in home pests, which can make selling difficult.

It's better to handle pests now than to hope a new buyer doesn't notice. Vermin can pop up at the most inopportune times, like when a prospective buyer opens a cabinet or closet door. Worse, some infestations can leave you legally liable if they're not handled and disclosed before the sale.

Infestations Can Ruin a Sale

Imagine this. Your perfect buyer just walked through the door. She's prequalified. She loves the neighborhood. Even better, she loves your house. That is until she opens a closet door to find mouse droppings or other evidence that your home has pests.

Pests are no respecter of persons. They don't care if you're selling, and they don't care if they embarrass you. When a buyer backs out of a sale because of an infestation, it could also ruin your chances with a different buyer. If word spreads through social media about insects, rodents or other problems, you might find yourself in a very difficult spot.

Some Infestations Could Leave You Liable

Markets vary, but in many cases, the home buyer is responsible for hiring a termite inspector and getting the "all clear" termite letter. That doesn't absolve the seller of responsibility, though. Failing to disclose termites or have them exterminated could come back to haunt you.

A buyer who inherits a termite problem might have the option of suing the seller. Liability would be up to a judge, of course. But according to Bankrate, legal action is a possibility. That's especially true if the buyer can convince the judge that you had prior knowledge of termites and didn't disclose the information prior to the sale.

She might be the greatest mouser in the world, but she's no match for professional pest control.

Pest Control Services Have Lots of Options

Some people have an aversion to pest control because they think that it equals extermination. But chemical poisons are only one option of many that pest control professionals use. For some types of infestations, chemical insecticides really are the only option. But other problems have safer, healthier alternatives.

The Natural Resources Defense Council explains that a layered approach eliminates pests for good. Mice, rats, bats and other critters that invade human spaces can be trapped and the area sanitized. Some pest control services also help eliminate what attracted the vermin to the space in the first place, such as dampness. And not all insecticides are harmful to humans. You have choices.

Don't let your beautiful home be spoiled by unwelcome squatters taking up residence without the courtesy of paying rent. If you're planning to list your home for sale this year, do yourself and all of your prospective buyers a favor and get an inspection. It's a small investment, especially considering the potential for lost sales and a bad reputation for your home listing. Afterward, you can open your doors to buyers and their agents with confidence.

At eppraisal, we know about buying and selling real estate. That's why we offer different resources that help you make the right decisions at the right time. Try out our free property valuation tool today and learn the estimated value of your home before you commit to listing it for sale.