Every state has different rules regarding pest inspection and selling a home. In Florida, a lender will usually not sign off on a loan without getting a WDO Report (Wood Destroying Organism). This is because the financial institution wants to protect itself from a bad investment. After All, they technically own the house for the next thirty years in most cases and the buyer does not own it outright until the mortgage loan has been satisfied.
In many cases if wood destroying organisms are found, it does not mean the end of the deal. The house can be treated and cleared for approval. Many times the lender will hold aside funds from the escrow to assure that this is done.
The buyer can sign an “as is” contract and then they become responsible for the pest problems associated with the house. But the lender usually will not agree to this. Exceptions may exist where the buyer is a well-known real estate “flipper” or has put a very large down payment on the house.
The final WDO must be available within 30 days of closing.
Some very motivated sellers will wish to address any pest problems themselves before putting the house on the market. They will have the house inspected and treated if treatment is necessary. They will then have a clear pest report available for interested parties.
Many times the appraiser will make note of any pest damage he or she sees. This will be visible in the official home appraisal sent to the potential home buyer as well as the mortgage lender.
Sometimes, a buyer can order a pest inspection of their own if the pest inspection that is on file seems to be incorrect. Buying a house is a serious investment and the potential home owner should perform their due diligence when making this large of a purchase. If there appears to be termite damage but the pest report appears to suggest there has been no termite activity , then the buyer may want to hire a different pest control company to inspect the home.
So the answer to the original question is that both parties can pay for an inspection but it behooves the buyer to get one of their own. And in most cases the buyer will pay for the inspection. The lender requires it.