When Good Wood Goes Bad

Few issues have complicated or killed more real estate deals than the dastardly WDO inspection. The good news is it doesn’t have to be that way!

Soon after starting HomePro Inspections in 1994 wood rot and termites became the largest single source of customer complaints that came across my desk. The frustration was the fact that none of those WDO inspections were done by my company.

Desperate to find a solution to this situation, I did what I always do — dug deep into definitive sources of information to learn all that could be known about WDO inspections. Then I implemented a strategy to solve the problem.

Termites or Ants?

Termites or Ants?

WDO (Wood Destroying Organism) inspections are governed by Florida Statutes Chapter 482 and administered by rules made by the State of Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS).

It was fascinating to become a student of all things WDO.  I devoured Chapter 482, read the rules as written, and attended classes sponsored by DACS as well as the Florida Pest Management Association (FPMA).

Comparing what DACS intended and FPMA taught with what was happening in the “real world” of WDO revealed why customers, real estate agents, and lenders were aggravated. No one seemed to know what a WDO inspection included, what was excluded, or how to read the WDO report that was written.

The net effect was that everyone had an opinion, and most of them were wrong. Often, each side of a real estate transaction had a different opinion, and both of them were wrong!

When confronted with correct answers, the response was often, “I’ve been in real estate 20 years and I’ve never heard that,” or “My pest control guy says you are crazy.” “Crazy” being one of the nicer names I was called.

The challenge was to get everyone educated on the issue so that the WDO information they had was complete, consistent, and correct.

With the blessing of the Florida Real Estate Commission, the agent continuing education program “When Good Wood Goes Bad” was born. The goal was having agents armed with the information and skills needed to choose a quality WDO inspector able to understand

the report and, most importantly, learn how to manage WDO issues, treatments, and repairs in the real estate transaction.

“When Good Wood Goes Bad” has been presented in more than 20 Realtor Boards in Florida. In addition to learning how to close more deals, manage your liability, and create referrals from raving fans, you may earn three hours of CE credit.

Among the most common questions asked of agents about WDO inspections are …

  • Who can legally do a WDO inspection? Can home inspectors do WDO inspections?
  • How long is a WDO report good for? What guarantees come with a WDO inspection?
  • Are wood decks a part of the structure of the home? And detached garages?
  • Is probing or defacing wood during the WDO inspection allowed?
  • What is the definition of a “WDO re-inspection”?

In the past 20 years I have performed, scheduled, or reviewed over 10,000 WDO inspections with customers, agents, and lenders. Not one of them has yet had the correct answers to the questions asked above unless they had attended “When Good Wood Goes Bad.”

Who Would Like to Crawl with Me?

Who Would Like to Crawl with Me?

Brokers, managers, agents, and lenders — come one and come all — protect your customer, your liability, and your license.  Contact us to see when and where “Good Wood Goes Bad” is next being scheduled.



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