The presence of mold shouldn't necessarily put the brakes on a potentially lucrative real estate deal. The key to buying or selling a house with mold is making sure both the purchaser and seller are fully aware of the situation and which repairs are required to restore the property. Mold is a serious problem for residential properties and can create severe health and quality of life issues for residents.
Any mold related issues must be taken care of before the new owners move in. Mold should be removed by professionals who have experience in residential mold removal and air quality management. The best solution is to eliminate the cause of excess humidity and correct moisture in the home.
Sellers should reveal and disclose issues and problems at the property
Buying a home is most likely one of the biggest and most complex purchases most people make. In certain aspects, it is up to the buyer to find out if there are any issues with the property. Home buyers should be aware of the various types of defects that exist in real estate transactions:
Patent defects are problems that could easily be visually detected like foundation cracks and roofing issues. Sellers do not have to disclose those types of problems as the purchaser or the purchaser’s inspector could discover in visible areas these types of defects upon closer inspection.
Sellers must disclose latent defects, which are problems that are not so obvious or in inaccessible parts of the home. If the seller is aware of latent defects or if they pose a health and safety risk, they must disclose them to the potential purchaser or they could possibly be liable for damages. Moldy areas are a common latent defect as the fungus can easily grow in the most inaccessible, darkest and hidden parts of the home.
The buyers’ sales rep can ask for a Seller Property Information Statement as a way to get more information about the property and current and potential problems at the home ,but sellers are not obliged to complete it. Real estate lawyers are aware of the ins and outs of the disclosure and can offer specifics that must be revealed. Before signing any contracts or agreeing to the sale, the buyer’s best resource for property condition is the pre-purchase home inspection by a certified inspector who specializes in residential real estate.
Pre-purchase and warranty home inspections reveal important facts about the home
Age and the environment can easily degrade and change the way a residential property functions. Buyers who are already stressed out about the financial aspects of the purchase do not need additional surprise costs in necessary home repairs. Having a professional perform a thorough and detailed pre-purchase inspection and making it a condition of purchase is the buyer's best strategy to protect their interests in the deal. A certified home inspector with specific residential real estate experience will deliver a detailed report on the condition of the home and a forecast of needed future repairs.
Certified home inspectors who understand residential properties will have specific areas and parts of the home they focus on:
- Airflow and air quality checks inside the home
- Basement and attic leaks and cracks
- Roofing holes and shingle condition
- Window and door seals
- Moisture levels inside areas such as the basement, cellars and other mold friendly places
- Foundation cracks and leaks on the exterior and interior
- HVAC equipment condition, venting and ductwork
- Frame stability and overall condition of wood parts throughout the home
- Checks for any past catastrophes such as flooding or fire damage if visible
Professional inspectors will also check and address any specific issues or requests the purchaser may want to know more about.
Sellers can also benefit from a home inspection as it may discover serious hidden problems such as: mold and identify areas of the home susceptible to excess moisture buildup. Sellers can accurately value their property and offer full disclosure to potential buyers with a detailed home inspection report performed by an experienced and certified inspector. Offering a completed home inspection to any potential buyers will instill confidence and could give the property an advantage in the open market.
New homeowners should consider a detailed home inspection before their new home warranty expires. A certified inspector can reveal defects in workmanship by the builder that can lead to bigger repair bills down the road. Homeownership is an expensive proposition and using the home’s warranty can help offset costs in performing necessary repairs due to defects in workmanship from the construction company.
Buyers need to stay informed when purchasing a home with mold
When mold is discovered at a potential home purchase, buyers shouldn't immediately walk away from the deal. Knowing the exact details of the problem may open up a lucrative real estate opportunity for the buyer:
Strategies for purchasing a home with a suspected mold problem:
- Consult with a certified mold inspector to assess the extent and cause of the mold and get estimates for repair, restoration and prevention of future mold issues
- A buyer may be able to sue a homeowner if mold is discovered at a later date and the seller was aware of it
- Buyers should be able to ask for a reduction in the purchase price based on the cost to remove the mold, restore the area and correct the airflow problem.
A moldy home may be a great real estate value with the proper research
When buying or selling a house with mold, a certified inspection is necessary to accurately assess the value of the property and uncover any current repair concerns and potential future repairs such as mold removal, restoration of surfaces and correcting any existing and potential airflow and moisture problems. A detailed and thorough home inspection report along with estimates for repairs from experienced professionals may uncover hidden value in the home and the property may actually represent and excellent real estate deal.
Mold is one of the worst problems a home can have as it reduces air quality in the home and can lead to health problems for anyone living at the property. Buyers who encounter a property with mold should do their very best to be fully informed on the status of the mold and the costs associated for total removal and repair. Purchaser’s should also budget frequent air quality checks throughout the year to make sure the property continues to be mold-free.
A seller’s checklist for mold
Getting a home ready for sale is a detailed process and any repairs that are required only add time and costs to the preparation. Mold is not easy to deal with ,but with proper planning and professional execution, sellers can get their property ready for the market:
- Begin the process right away - Mold can take hold and spread very quickly and if left unchecked can ruin surfaces and structures. Testing and inspection take time as well so starting the process immediately is essential to contain the fungus.
- Perform a thorough visual inspection - Mold develops in areas of high humidity and little to no air circulation and these potential areas should be visually checked first. After examining these ‘hot zones’, start with the basement and work upwards performing visual checks everywhere that can be accessed.
- Complete repairs immediately - Once mold is located, removal of the fungus and restoration of the area must be completed immediately to prevent further development and reduction in air quality. The cause of the mold must also be identified and repaired to prevent new infestations.
- Have a professional inspect for mold - Negative changes in health and quality of life could mean a decrease in air quality due to mold. A professional mold expert has the latest tools and testing equipment to determine and locate mold at the property. Homeowners have come to rely on the experts at InchByInch to complete thorough mold inspections and removal jobs.
- Keep a file - Sellers who perform mold related repairs must keep all documentation, certificates and invoices as proof of completion and to keep track of mold development.
InchByInch is your partner when buying or selling a house with mold
The discovery of mold in the home can easily derail any real estate transaction. When buying or selling a home with mold, everyone involved in the transaction must do their part to fully understand the issues at the property. Mold is considered a critical problem because of the ill health effects and reduced air quality it creates. Mold can also fester and reproduce quickly when left unchecked and simply removing the mold is not enough. The root cause of mold must be determined and corrected.
InchByInch specializes in residential air quality and mold testing, inspections and removal and can be a valuable partner when mold rears its head in any real estate purchase. Buyers and sellers who want to make sure the property is mold free should hire InchByInch to test air quality and perform a thorough mold check. InchByInch also has the latest tools and current expertise to fully remove and eradicate mold from the property and restore air quality to healthy levels. Contact InchByInch today for more information.