While we’re all sitting around waiting for new inventory to appear on the market, it occurs to me to point out that if you’re preparing to list your house, this is a good time to remove those bright yellow rat poison boxes from the basement. They’re really eye catching, and their presence makes buyers squeamish.
Certainly a thorough home inspection will discover your unwelcome co-inhabitants, but by the time the inspector is there you’ll be in the accepted offer stage, and there’s some momentum going on that should push the deal past this problem. If, on the other hand, a buyer is aware of rats before he even makes an offer it will gnaw at him during his deliberations and you may find that he and his money disappear down a rathole, leaving you with a problem and your still-unsold home.
As a buyer’s agent I’ll alert my people to problems I spot, and rats and other vermin (like the teenager next door with a rock band) are part of that issue spotting. But the odds are good I won’t notice a few stray droppings unless I’m alerted to their presence by a bold yellow box proclaiming “hic sunt dracones”. Ignorance is bliss.
The best course of action would be to call in an exterminator, get rid of the pests and take steps to ensure they won’t return but in some houses, particularly those built on fieldstone foundations with their many gaps and crumbling mortar, this is an almost impossible task. I’m not advising that you deliberately conceal the evidence; fraud’s never a good idea, but you don’t necessarily have to draw attention to your furry friends.