Can You Sell A House With Mold?
December 31, 2022
Mold is a pervasive issue that everyone has to deal with eventually. In the right environment, fungi can form quickly and lead to hazardous toxins infiltrating our air supply. Selling a house with mold is a tricky situation and comes with many considerations, including the legality of such a transaction. So, can you sell a house with mold? Is it legal to sell a house with mold? This blog post will answer these questions and provide insights into disclosing mold when selling a house.
What Dangers Does Mold Pose?
Mold is a fungus that can grow indoors or outdoors all year round. Indoor mold can grow in damp areas or wherever there is oxygen and water. Outdoors mold uses plants and decaying organic matter to survive. Mold is typically darker in color like black, brown, or dark green. Generally, there are three different types of mold that vary in harmfulness: pathogenic, toxigenic, and allergenic.
Pathogenic molds can be very harmful to those who are immunocompromised or healthy. They spread airborne spores that can cause infections.
Toxigenic molds are similarly harmful to humans and produce toxins or mycotoxins that can irritate a person’s respiratory system for short or long periods of time. Black mold is a popularized type of toxigenic mold.
Allergenic molds are the most commonly found type of mold. They don’t necessarily cause adverse health effects, but some people may experience allergies or asthma attacks when exposed to them.
Health Risks For Mold
The harmful effects of mold vary from simple allergies to possibly life-threatening conditions. Depending on the type of mold, how long you are exposed to it, and your existing health conditions, the health risks of mold should always be considered. People who are more susceptible to mold-related allergies may experience any of the following:
- Watery Eyes
- Runny Nose
- Difficulty Breathing
More serious health risks are associated with long-term exposure to certain types of mold. However, most types of mold found indoors don’t cause major symptoms if any symptoms at all.
Where Can You Find Mold Indoors?
Since mold can be found in damp areas, the list of places mold can grow is relatively long. There are common areas that are prone to mold growth and should be regularly inspected for the presence of any fungi. Common areas where mold can be found include but are not limited to:
- Crawl Space
Roofs take on harsh weather throughout the year which can lead to leaks and other issues that can cause mold growth. Mold can spread rapidly into a house, so it is important to spot signs of a leak early.
Naturally, if a roof is leaking, the attic will be the first place to get damp. Attics can also be prone to mold because they are rarely checked on and can easily accumulate water.
Along with roofs and attics, pipes are also prone to eventually leaking. Leaking pipes can cause mold to form and spread throughout a house. It is important to regularly check pipes for any signs of leaking or damage.
When we think about water in a house, we typically think about bathrooms. Lots of water travels to and through the bathroom. This can create the perfect environment for mold to form. Check behind showers, bathtubs, and sinks for any signs of mold growth.
Basements can be a breeding ground for mold spores because of leaky pipes and flooding. The area is also often damp and dark, making it easier for mold to thrive.
Finally, crawl spaces can be very hard to inspect but they also are one of the places where mold can form. Crawl spaces are typically damp, dark, and very confined which makes them perfect spots for mold to flourish.
What Sellers Should Do If They Find Mold
Buyers are looking for a house with minimal risks and problems, so it’s important for sellers to be honest when it comes to disclosing any mold growth. If a seller finds mold in their house, there are a few ways they can handle it.
Clean It Themselves
As long as the mold hasn’t grown too much, the seller can attempt to clean it themselves. Mold is thankfully not that difficult to clean in small areas, as long as you have the right materials. You can use detergent, cleaning-strength vinegar, or a specific mold cleaner to scrub away the fungus. Also, you should always wear gloves and a mask when cleaning the mold.
Hire a Professional
There are times when mold can become too much for the seller to handle on their own. The Environment Protection Agency recommends turning to a professional if the moldy area covers more than 10 square feet. A professional will be better equipped to assess the level of damage and clean it appropriately. Remember, mold should not be able to grow in your house. If you find it growing indoors, then you need to have the underlying source of the problem fixed along with the mold.
Always Disclose Mold To The Buyer
Depending on the state you live in it may be legally required for home sellers to disclose any past or present mold on the property to potential buyers along with any known defects with the property. Even if it’s not required, sellers should still make sure they disclose any knowledge of mold to buyers because the discovery of mold in the home inspection could turn buyers away from you.
How Mold Can Affect The Real Estate Deal
Buyers are looking for homes that require minimal repair and upkeep. If a house has an underlying mold problem, it could affect the negotiation process on the selling price. Additionally, discovering mold in a house could lead to the buyer and seller entering into a disagreement over who is responsible for paying for mold removal. Here are a few ways that mold can affect the real estate deal:
Lowering The Home Value. Depending on how extreme the mold problem is, the buyer may need to take the cost of removing the mold and fixing the underlying problem out of the purchase price.
Financing. A mold problem discovered in a home inspection is a sign to lenders that the property may be risky and could even lead them to deny funding for the purchase.
Ending The Transaction. Buyers that don’t want to deal with the hassle of mold may walk away from the deal altogether, especially if the mold problem is severe.
Work With a Good Real Estate Agent When Buying a House
Finding a real estate agent to work with is easy but finding a good real estate agent can be very difficult. Luckily, there is a new type of real estate agent organization that streamlines your search for a high-quality and experienced agent. This group of agents is called The Negotiators.
Negotiators are handpicked from amongst the top real estate agents in the USA that have all proven their ability to go above and beyond for their clients. By hiring a Negotiator, you’ll have someone on your side who has a wealth of experience in the real estate market and an unrivaled work ethic working to get you the best deal possible.