Selling A Home With Mold: What You Need To Know
You’ve carefully researched your local real estate market and discussed your home’s listing price with your real estate agent. You’ve made a few carefully chosen high-value upgrades. You’ve cleared out all of your clutter and de-personalized your space to make it easier for prospective buyers to picture themselves living in your home. In short, you’re all good and ready to put your home on the market.
But just as you’re about to host your very first viewing, tragedy strikes. You’ve found mold in your house.
Having mold in your house is unpleasant, to say the least. Not only does it look unsightly and smell bad, it’s also a potentially serious health hazard.
As a seller, having a mold infestation on your hands puts you between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, it’s news prospective buyers are unlikely to take very well. On the other hand, failure to disclose that you have a mold problem may lead to the sale being rescinded and, even worse, expose you to all sorts of liability issues.
With that being said, don’t panic.
Having a mold problem definitely sucks. But it doesn’t mean you won’t be able to sell your home, either. Indeed, mold is a much more common problem than you might think, especially in warm, dark and damp places like basements and attics. If you know what you’re doing, it’s very much possible to deal with it effectively and sell your home for a fair price without risking getting sued.
Understanding The Legal Position
Before we discuss how to tackle mold, let’s get something out of the way.
Laws on selling a house with mold can change. It’s always in your best interest to consult a professional. As a rule of thumb, however, you must disclose both present and past mold problems to a prospective buyer. Failure to do so may lead to all sorts of legal problems down the line.
You’re legally obligated to disclose a mold problem not only if you know about, but also if you could be reasonably expected to know about it. For this reason, it’s a good idea to check your home even if there isn’t any visible mold. This not only ensures you’re legally protected, but also has the added benefit of giving you sufficient time to deal with problems before there’s any buyer interest.
Tackling Mold Effectively
Once you’ve established the source of the problem, it’s time to deal with it.
It’s a good idea to engage the services of a professional mold remediation company to do this. Besides having the know-how to deal with mold effectively, reputable mold remediation companies will also provide you with a warranty. This is a good thing to have in case you have a hard time placating a prospective buyer’s concerns.
However, eliminating mold is only one piece of the puzzle. You also need to deal with the root cause of the problem. This means checking your ventilation system, looking out for areas where your home may have suffered water damage and making any necessary repairs. Water damage and bad ventilation are the two main causes of mold growth, so dealing with these issues goes a long way towards ensuring the problem doesn’t re-occur.
Leave A Paper Trail
While identifying and dealing with the problem should avoid most issues, leaving a paper trail is equally important. Keep a written record of all the repairs you’ve made. Even better, get a mold inspector to certify that your home is now free and clear.
Having this documentation handy is not only useful when addressing a prospective buyer’s concerns, it’ll also protect you in the event the buyer decides to sue you anyway after the sale has gone through.
Need help selling a house with issues? We can guide you through the process. Get in touch with us today.