Real Estate Brokers and Rodent Issues at a Property: How You Should Advise Your Client About Rodent Droppings Cleanup

Real estate brokers have significant responsibilities and obligations when it comes to assisting their clients to make their way through the residential real estate market. Real estate brokers need to be at the top of their game when it comes to making sure that their clients are well informed about a myriad of issues associated with homebuying at this juncture of the 21st century. One matter that isn’t oftentimes at the top of the list for real estate brokers is addressing rodent issues at residential properties, including the presence of rodent droppings at a residence a client is interested in making an offer.

Complete Knowledge of Rodent Droppings Is Imperative for a Real Estate Broker

If the typical California real estate broker is asked about mouse or rat droppings, that individual is likely to respond with comments like “gross” and “nuisance.” A real estate broker may not be fully versed on what rodent droppings might represent. It is crucial for a broker to have a reasonably complete knowledge about rodent droppings and what they might represent.

A real estate broker might breath something of a sigh of relief of dry rodent droppings are discovered in the basement, attic, garage, or some other part of a residence that is not a true livable space. A broker might conclude that there may have been some sort of mice or rat issue at the house sometime in the past. A broker understandable might conclude that dried droppings indicate such an issue really was something in the past.

In fact, rodent droppings dry quickly. The discovery of dried feces cannot be taken as evidence that a rodent infestation issue has been addressed by the current owner of the property. A broker needs to be certain that a client understands this fact.

A broker also needs to understand that the possibility exists that dried rodent droppings can harbor germs capable of causing disease in humans. In fact, dried droppings break apart or crumble easily. This can result in feces dust contaminated by germs to become airborne. When that occurs, people inside a house – residents and visitors alike – run the risk of becoming infected by germs that can cause serious disease.

If a broker identifies only one location in a residence that appears to have what seem to be residual rodent droppings, a professional can not shrug off the situation and automatically conclude that the rest of the residence is clear. In fact, rodents are highly adept at getting into a myriad of spaces in a residence that simply are not readily accessible to humans. These spaces include areas behind walls and HVAC systems, including ductwork.

Rodents defecate wherever they happen to be at a particular moment in time. This biological reality means that rodent droppings could be just about anywhere in a house.

Next Step for a Broker and Prospective Buyer After Discovering Droppings

Even if only a small amount of rodent droppings are discovered somewhere in a residence a broker’s client has an interest, this discovery needs to trigger an honest conversation with a client about what needs to be done before an offer is made on the property. First, a recommendation needs to be made to the client to obtain an independent inspection of the premises (if one was not already on the agenda). If an inspection was already anticipated, the inspector must be advised that a concern exists about a prior (or existing) rodent infestation as well as damage to the premises caused by rodents (including to the physical structure of the house as well as the electrical system).

If rodent droppings ultimately are discovered in different locations in a home for sale, and a broker’s client remains interested in purchasing the property, a professional rodent dropping cleanup company should be hired. Yes, there obviously is a cost associated with engaging this type of professional. However, a trained rodent cleaning specialist has the experience, equipment, and other resources necessary to safely and thoroughly undertake rodent dropping cleanup.

Eco Bear is a locally owned family rodent dropping cleanup and biohazard remediation company. The team at Eco Bear works with sellers and buyers in need to rodent dropping cleanup in a home about to go on the market or that is already up for sale.

Costs associated with rodent dropping cleanup depends on the extent of the feces issue and the locations in the residence where this type of waste needs to be eliminated. For example, a 1,500 square foot attic with rodent droppings throughout that space can cost between $2,000 and $3,000 to thoroughly clean and sanitize. If necessary, deodorization will also be undertaken.

A common practice is for a serious buyer to request the seller address this cleanup issue. The reality is that once a problem with rodent droppings in a residence for sale is discovered, the situation is going to need to be rectified even if a currently interested buyer ends up passing on making an offer. Thus, placing the costs associated with rodent dropping cleanup is a reasonable financial responsibility placed in the seller’s column (even if the buyer pays for an independent inspection that resulted in the discovery of the rodent droppings).