No one likes bedbugs—except maybe bedbug exterminators who make bank for (hopefully) getting rid of the bedbugs—and it turns out, shocker of all shockers, that potential buyers don't like them either! The NY Times' real estate section has a big article on the effects of bedbugs on deals and opens with an example of an "elegant two-bedroom co-op in an Upper East Side prewar building had drifted on the market for nine months by the time the first-time buyers laid eyes on it this spring." The buyers loved it, especially when they could get it for $50,000 less at $625,000. But then, in their "due diligence" phase, their lawyer said, "The [co-op board] minutes referenced multiple attempts to exterminate bedbugs in the building." Oh, crap.
Eventually, the buyers decided not to go through with the deal; the wife told the Times:
"Before we found out all the details, we thought maybe if it had happened two years ago and had been taken care of, and there had been no complaints ever since, we might feel comfortable. The broker said, 'This is New York City — you have all sorts of things like cockroaches and rats.' But it’s very different to have a cockroach than something that sucks your blood and is in your bed. I would rather have rats."
Good question: would you rather have bedbugs or rats?
The Times points out that while the city has bedbug measures for rental buildings, if they strike condos or co-ops, it's up to the boards to take action. One lawyer said emphatically that there are pretty much bedbugs in every NYC building, adding, "I have yet to hear of a buyer going into the apartment for the preclosing walk-through and picking up the bedspreads and looking at the mattresses. If they do, you’re going to have lots of deals not closing." And some deals even go forward: One couple that bought a place because they didn't want to lose it; their lawyer said, "We sent in our own exterminator and made the seller treat where our exterminator found the bugs. He found it in some of the cracks of the walls, in the floorboards and some of the wall-to-wall carpeting."