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Almost every residential real estate contract in Massachusetts contains a termite inspection clause. The clause requires the home seller to pay up to $1,000 for termite treatment if necessary.

The typical termite clause reads as follows:

“This Agreement is subject to the right of the BUYER to obtain, at BUYER’S own expense, a termite or other wood-destroying insect inspection and written report, being made by a licensed exterminator, on or before ten days from the date of this agreement. If the inspection shows that there is no evidence of termite or other wood-destroying insect infestation in the existing construction, or if infestations had existed, they have been corrected, this Agreement shall be in full force. If the inspection shows that there is evidence of termites or other wood-destroying insect infestations and/or damage as a result of infestations, the BUYER shall furnish SELLER with a copy of the written report(s) stating the results of the inspection. If the total cost of treatment and repair does not exceed $1,000.00 the SELLER shall undertake such treatment and/or repair and the BUYER shall be bound to perform the BUYER’S obligations under this Agreement. In the event that said cost shall exceed $1,000.00, the SELLER at SELLER’S option, may bear all expenses in excess of $1,000.00 or may, subject to the BUYER’S election hereinafter stated, cancel this Agreement by notifying the Broker in writing, in which event this Agreement shall become null and void and all deposits made hereunder shall be refunded to the BUYER. Notwithstanding the SELLER’S right to cancel, the BUYER may, upon prompt written notice to the SELLER, agree to pay all amounts in excess of $1,000.00, in which case the SELLER shall be bound to perform this Agreement, paying the first $1,000.00 of the cost of extermination and/or repair.”

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