Can You Sell A House With Bed Bugs? (Yes – Here’s How)

Bed bugs – the two words that can send shivers down any homeowner's spine, especially one trying to sell their house.

If you discovered an infestation right before selling your house - don't worry.

Selling with bed bugs isn't ideal, but you can still find a buyer.

In this post, I’ll show you how to sell a house with bed bugs at a high level. Plus, I’ll also go over the most common signs of bed bugs.

How To Know If You Have Bed Bugs

Before you even think about trying to sell your house, you'll need to confirm if you actually have a bed bug problem or if it's another kind of bug.

People often mistake ticks, lice or fleas as bed bugs. These pests are often mistaken for bed bugs due to their similar appearance and the fact that they can also cause discomfort and irritation when they infest a home.

However, it's important to accurately identify the pest in order to effectively address the infestation.

Also Read: Pest Infestation In Distressed Homes


These little pests can be really hard to detect, but here are some telltale signs to look out for:

What do bed bugs look like - They're small, reddish-brown insects about the size of an apple seed. You may spot them crawling around on mattresses, furniture, baseboards, etc.

Shed skins - As bed bugs grow, they shed their outer shell. You may see these pale, hollow shed skins in crevices and seams.

Black spotting - Their droppings look like black pepper specks or marker dots on surfaces like mattresses and box springs.

What do bite bed bug bites look like - One of the biggest giveaways is finding a bunch of small, itchy red bite marks on you, especially in a line or zigzag pattern which is how bed bugs tend to bite.

You should do a thorough inspection and look in all the prime bed bug hiding spots like:

  • Mattress seams and box spring
  • Couch and chair crevices
  • Behind headboards, baseboards, electrical outlets
  • Inside dresser drawers and nightstands

Even if you don't actually see the bugs themselves, those other signs like skins, spotting, and bite marks can confirm you have an infestation.

Can You Sell A House With Bed Bugs?

Selling a house with bed bugs is technically possible, but its going to be hard.

On the legal side of things, most states require disclosure of infestations, and failing to do so could lead to legal trouble.

Even with disclosure, bed bugs will scare away buyers and decrease the value of your house. Plus, the banks might not even offer financing - especially to first time home buyers.

Also Read: Calculate Distress Value Of Property

Your best bet is to get professional help eradicating the infestation before selling.

Or you can also sell to a cash buyer, you would be happy to buy the house as is.

How To Sell A House With Bed Bugs

Let me show you to list a house with bed bugs on the open real estate market first. I’ll talk about cash buyers a bit later. 

#1 Get Rid Of Bed Bugs

The very first thing you should do is to get rid of the bed bug infestation completely.

Hire a professional exterminator to come and treat all the affected areas of your home.

It might cost you anywhere from $1500 to $4,000, with the cost depending on the size of your infestation, your home's size, and the treatment method.

The exterminator will likely use methods like heat treatment and insecticide sprays.

Chemical treatments are generally the cheapest, while fumigation is the most expensive.

#2 Disclose The Issue And List The Home

Once the bed bug problem has been taken care of, you can list your home for sale.

But it's really important to be upfront and honest with potential buyers about the issue.

Plus, it's illegal to not disclose it. Laws about what sellers need to disclose vary in different states, but in most cases, you MUST tell buyers about pest infestations.

Also Read: Selling a house with termite history

If you don't disclose it and a buyer finds out later, you could face legal troubles.

Being open and transparent builds trust with buyers.

#3 Provide Proof & Guarantee To Buyer

It's also a good idea to give buyers proof that the bed bugs are really gone, and some kind of guarantee in case they come back.

You could get a written warranty or certification from the exterminator, confirming their treatment worked and the bed bugs were eliminated.

This gives buyers evidence to show the problem was resolved properly.

You can also offer to pay for any re-treatment that might be needed within a certain time period after the sale, like 6 months or a year.

This guarantee shows you stand behind the work done to get rid of the bed bugs.

#4 Complete The Sale

If you've everything I mentioned, you should be able to sell your home successfully.


But be prepared that some buyers might want to do their own inspections or have specific requirements put into the sales contract.

As long as you've handled everything correctly and are willing to work with reasonable requests from the buyer, there's no reason the sale can't go through smoothly.

Sell As-Is To A Cash Buyer Or Investors

Let's say you don't want to go through the whole process of hiring an exterminator and getting rid of the bed bugs yourself.

Or maybe you just don't have the money to pay for professional treatment right now.

In that case, you do have another option - You can sell your house "as-is" to a cash buyer.

These buyers are usually real estate investors or companies that buy up houses in whatever condition they're in - even if there are major problems like a bed bug infestation.

Their business model is to purchase distressed properties that need a lot of work for a lower price. Then they'll take care of all the repairs, renovations, and pest treatments themselves.

The big downside is that you'll likely get a much lower sale price.

But this route can at least allow you to sell quickly (within weeks) and walk away without any more work on your part. Plus, there are no commissions or closing costs.


Are Bed Bugs Covered By Insurance?

No, bed bugs are not covered by homeowners or renters insurance since they're considered a preventable maintenance issue.

Does Home Inspection Include Bed Bugs?

No, standard home inspections don't typically check for bed bugs. They focus on the structural condition of the house, not pests.