Buying or Selling a Home With Mold: What to Know About Selling or Buying a Home With Mold
If you are buying or selling a home, one of the biggest concerns is mold. Unfortunately, mold is very common in homes with persistent sources of moisture or water. Even with regular cleaning, the mold will remain as long as the water is present. If you’re planning on selling a home with mold, learn what you should do about it before you list your property. If you’re buying a home with mold or are concerned that the home may have mold, learn what steps to take to have the problem resolved before you take possession.
How to Sell a Home With Mold
- Disclose the Mold Issues – Include a detailed account of the mold issues in your disclosure agreement. Ask your agent for assistance if you are unsure what to include.
- Hire a Certified Mold Removal Company – Always use a certified mold removal contractor because they stand behind their work.
- Document the Remediation Process – Keep good records of the remediation process in case the buyer asks for proof of the mold removal.
What to do When Buying a Home With Mold
- Ask For a Mold Inspection – If you see or suspect mold in the home, ask the homeowners for a mold inspection.
- Request Mold Remediation – If the inspection comes back positive for mold, request that the homeowners hire a certified mold remediation contractor to address the issue.
- Require Proof of the Mold Removal – Once they complete the repairs, ask for documentation of the process.
What Causes Mold in Homes
Mold is a common fungus that thrives in damp environments. Once it appears, it will continue to grow as long as the moisture remains. While you can clean surface mold with bleach, vinegar, or ammonia, they will not kill the mold deep within the surface. Even if they do kill all the mold, new mold will grow as long as the area remains damp.
Common Signs of Mold in Homes
Mold is an airborne fungus that grows on almost any surface that is consistently damp. Although often black, grey, or green, it appears many other colors. The color of the mold doesn’t indicate the type of mold. Whether you’re buying or selling, here are the most common signs of mold in homes.
- Visible mold, even just small spots
- Surfaces with stains or discoloration
- Musty odors or smells
- Damaged or deteriorating materials
- Chipped or peeling paint
- Persistent or sudden allergic reactions or respiratory issues
As the seller, you should have a mold inspection if you are aware of any of these issues. If you’re the buyer, you should request a mold inspection if you see or experience any of these issues in the home you are touring.
What to do If You Are Selling a Home With Mold
If you are selling your home and know you have a mold problem, you absolutely need to disclose this in your paperwork. Ideally, you should also repair the mold problem as well. Removing the mold before selling your home will increase the sale price and limit the chances the home inspector will give the buyers reason to walk away from the sale.
Disclose the Mold Issues
If you have mold or recently had mold removal, you need to include this in your disclosure agreement. If you already addressed the mold issue, include as much detail about the situation as possible. Have receipts, reports, and other paperwork available in case the buyer requests them.
If you have a mold issue but are having it removed, include that information in the disclosure. Document the process and keep all receipts, reports, and paperwork. You will likely need to provide proof of the work prior to closing on the sale.
Hire a Certified Mold Removal Company
If you are removing the mold before the sale of your home, you need to take the process seriously. Even if you have a general handyman or friend of the family that does work like this on the side, only hire a licensed and certified mold remediation company.
They not only have the training and equipment to properly remove the mold, but they will also address the water source that allowed it to grow. They will also stand behind their work. If the home inspector finds mold, you’ll be able to go back to them and have it repaired.
Document the Remediation Process
Keep good records and save all the paperwork associated with the mold remediation. This includes the initial estimate, work order or contract, and receipts. If you have mold testing reports, save those as well.
You should also document the mold remediation process with photos whenever possible. In addition to both before and after photos, include photos of the work in process as well.
While this may seem unnecessary, documenting the process protects you in the event that the buyer files a legal claim against you during or after the sale of your home. Although unlikely, courts will usually side with the buyer when the seller cannot produce records of the mold remediation.
Do I Need to Remove Mold If I’m Selling My Home
Whenever possible, you should remove mold if you are selling your home. This ensures you get the most for your home and prevent legal action from the buyer. However, you might be able to sell a home with mold as long as you completely disclose the situation and the buyer accepts the condition of the home.
For example, in the case of short sales or low-value homes, you might be able to sell that home as-is. If you want to sell your home without removing the mold first, talk with your agent about your options and remember to include the mold issues in your disclosure agreement and listing.
What to do If You Are Buying a Home With Mold
Most states require sellers to disclose problems like mold prior to listing their home. Review the disclosure agreement with your agent if you have any concerns. If you choose to move forward, you can request a mold inspection to validate the situation. From there, you can also include mold removal services as part of your purchase agreement.
Ask For a Mold Inspection
As the buyer, you can request that the seller performs a mold inspection if you are concerned there is an issue. In most cases, you’ll need to do this as part of an offer. Your agent can assist you with how to proceed.
You should definitely request a mold inspection if you see visible mold or signs of water damage. Other cautionary signs include moldy or musty smells, strong bleach odors, damaged or deteriorating surfaces, and areas that look like they were recently repaired.
Request Mold Remediation
If the mold inspection comes back positive for mold, you can then request that the seller makes repairs. As such, you would make the sale of the home contingent upon mold removal from a licensed and certified contractor.
They will hire a mold remediation company to remove the mold and repair the source of water that caused it. Additionally, they will perform mold inspections and air quality tests afterward to ensure the work is done properly.
Require Proof of the Mold Removal
Once the mold is removed, ask for copies of the mold tests to ensure the job is completed properly and to your satisfaction. In addition to those reports, you may also consider getting an independent mold inspection for your own peace of mind.
Additionally, ask for the name and contact information of the contractor that performed the work in case there are any issues in the immediate future. In most cases, you can contact them directly to address the issue if mold repairs within a few weeks of the sale.
Get a Mold Inspection Before Buying or Selling a Home
Whether you are selling a home with mold or are concerned the home you are buying has mold, get a mold inspection now. With mold remediation experts across the country, find a mold inspection and removal company near you today.
Choose from our listings of licensed and certified mold removal contractors or call 1-888-443-3110 now to speak with our on-call mold remediation company in your area. They offer same day service and accept all insurances.