Selling your home can be a somewhat stressful time. Obviously, you want to get the most money for your investment, while also making sure there are legal issues later on down the line.
With many home sales, the process involves a thorough inspection. In some cases, the results can turn up issues like faults in the wiring, the need for HVAC repairs, a fault in a critical appliance, or concerns about the shape of the roof. There are other times when an inspection can come back indicating positive for the presence of mold.
This can be even more shocking and concerning than a structural issue in your home. Especially, when savvy specialists in the real estate industry have become increasingly aware of mold problems and the likelihood of it developing in just about any home.
One of the more dangerous types of mold, Stachybotrys chartarum, which is also known as black mold, or toxic mold can potentially cause serious health problems. In some cases, it can also lead to substantial liability issues for sellers who don’t disclose the presence of mold during the home sale process.
Can The Presence Of Mold Affect The Sale Of My Home?
You really don’t want to mess around when it comes to selling a home with the presence of mold. Even if the mold the inspectors find isn’t of the toxic black mold variety, you could still be held liable for not disclosing its presence.
It’s also a plain truth that there are buyers who will bail out of making an offer or back out of a home sale at the mere mention of mold. The prevalence of mold, as well as information about its potential health and the structural danger it poses has become increasingly exposed in the media. Some buyers will simply run from any mold disclosure.
Some of the more common areas where mold is found in a home can include attics, bathrooms, basements, closets in downstairs spare rooms, laundry rooms. It can affect just about any moist surface in your home.
One of the telltale signs of a mold problem often manifests as black spots on a wall in a poorly ventilated or overly moist room. This typically indicates that mold in that area is in its early stages. However, it could be a new or secondary manifestation of mold, caused by a more significant mold infestation elsewhere in your home.
You see mold spores move through the air. They are microscopic and you cannot see them. Yet they are there and depending on the season and the conditions inside your house, mold spores could be present in relatively significant density!
What Are The Dangers Posed By Mold?
The largest health threat posed to humans and pets comes from black mold, which is also referred to as toxic mold. Its spores and byproducts can potentially damage your lungs and lead to other health problems. Some people also suffer inflammation issues when they are in the presence of mold, especially toxic black mold.
Individuals with asthma and other respiratory conditions can suffer complications in the presence of mold. Individuals with respiratory allergies also tend to experience more frequent allergy reactions, in a moldy environment.
It’s also worth noting that the elderly, infants and small children are increasingly vulnerable to the presence of mold in a home.
How Badly Can Mold Affect The Value Of My Home?
The truth is potential home buyers have every right to be concerned about the presence of mold in a home. Purchasing a home, whether it is their first or their fifth, is likely one of the biggest purchases of their lives.
They weigh the threat posed by mold’s presence in a home, against other homes where mold wasn’t present. If they don’t immediately back out of the deal, a potential buyer is very likely to lower their offer after an inspection test is positive for the presence of mold.
The reduction in price can vary depending on the severity of the problem. Still, even if the mold issue is minor, you should still expect that you will not get your maximum asking price with an active mold infestation.
What Can I Do After An Inspector Finds Mold In My Home?
Taking timely action is important. The longer you wait to do something about your mold problem the worse it is likely to get. Mold can also cause structural damage to a home, which could lead to further failures in your inspection. At the same time, acting quickly to have the mold problem professionally remediated will go a long way toward easing some of the fears of potential buyers.
You can start by performing your own visual inspection of your home. Keep an eye out for any areas where moisture is more likely to accumulate? Obvious places to start looking include the bathroom, kitchen, and attic. Don’t forget less-common areas, like downstairs closets, crawl spaces, basement corners, and areas near your home’s primary wet wall.
Don’t forget to give excess scrutiny to areas where they may have been a past water leak or a flooding issue. Sometimes even something as simple as a basement leak caused by a compromised gutter could have left excess moisture under a panel or behind some drywall that harbors a mold colony.
Be Prepared To Make Repairs
In many cases where a home that tests positive for the presence of mold, the material needs to be professionally repaired or replaced. This could include areas of affected drywall. Wooden window frames, studs, joists, and baseboards. You may also need to replace carpeting in one or multiple rooms.
Make sure to document everything that was repaired and replaced. This includes documenting which professional contractors who performed the repairs.
Should I Seek Out A Professional Mold Remediation Service?
Chances are good that any potential buyer will want rock-solid proof that the mold issue in your home has been thoroughly and professionally remediated. This will likely include requesting a secondary, follow up inspection.
Having a mold remediation specialist come in to eliminate traces of mold and certify that it has been professionally remediated will go a long way toward easing a prospective buyer’s fears. It can also limit your liability should a future mold problem develop in the house after the sale.