09June

Sold or Sunk: How Mold Can Affect Property Values and Real Estate Deals

As a homeowner, the value of your property is determined by a whole host of factors, from location to layout to general condition. One aspect that is often overlooked but that can have a significant effect on your ultimate sale price is the presence of mold. Even a small amount of it can give a potential buyer the feeling that a house isn’t clean. And if they suspect that what’s visible is just the tip of the iceberg, they may also begin to worry about the health effects of mold exposure.

Your Duty to Disclose

In some locations, you are required to disclose to a potential buyer whether your home has mold problems. The laws vary from state to state, so be sure to check with your real estate agent and/or a lawyer who specializes in real estate if this is an issue for you.

To Remediate or Not Remediate…

That is the question. While the cost of mold remediation can be significant, especially if the problem is pervasive, it typically pales in comparison to the decrease in sale price you will likely face. Savvy buyers’ agents will inform their clients that 1) A mold issue is likely to scare away many potential buyers, and consequently, 2) A lowball offer is much more likely to be accepted. So, in most cases, when the question is “Should we remediate?” the answer is “Yes.”

Property Prep: Seek and Destroy

While professional remediation may be your best option for dealing with larger mold infestations, in smaller cases, you may be able to take care of the problem yourself. As you prepare to put your house on the market, be sure to check out the most likely locations for mold: under sinks, in basements and crawlspaces, and in attics. And while you may be doing the work, it’s still a good idea to get advice from a remediation expert on the best way to thoroughly remove mold.

Get to the Source

Removing mold from your home is a good first step, but in order to sell your house with a clean conscience (and, in many cases, no legal liability), you must address the conditions that are allowing mold to grow. The two biggest culprits there are water issues and poor ventilation. Here again, you will likely have to spend some money to correct existing problems, but the benefit almost always outweighs the cost.

Why Risk It?

It’s ironic that such a tiny little organism can have such a big impact on a real estate transaction. But the truth is that while every sale is different, you can easily be risking tens of thousands of dollars by failing to deal with a mold problem before you put your home on the market. Take action now by calling Certified Mold Inspections and you’ll be thanking yourself later… all the way to the bank.