Updated: Feb 22, 2019
So you’ve decided to sell your home and just as you made this major decision, you discovered mold growing in your home. What do you do?
Mold growth should be dealt with immediately, regardless if you are selling your home or not. However, since you are selling your home, the best solution is to have the mold problem taken care of before listing your home for sale.
For liability and disclosure reasons, a mold problem is not something you can hide when selling your home. Although by taking the initiative to address the issue head-on in a responsible manner, you will prevent unnecessary surprises and disappointment during the actual sale.
Make a Detailed List
Prior to listing your home, check any and all areas that tend to have higher levels of moisture including corners, bathrooms, enclosed plumbing pipes, etc. Also, if you notice areas that have signs of moisture, make a note. Consider if you have ever had broken pipes, leaking faucets, or leaks in the roof.
Make Necessary Repairs
If you discover pipes that are showing erosion or wear, have them repaired and replaced. During the process of any repairs, if you uncover drywall or flooring that displays any signs of mold or is severely water-damaged, refrain from further repairs and contact someone that does professional mold cleanup.
Have You Detected Musty Odors?
Additionally, even when mold is not visible, it can still exist. Have you ever noticed musty smells in certain parts of the home? Mold can grow in air conditioning systems as well, due to the condensation formed. Prime areas for mold growth and the development of mildew or musty smells also include the attic or basement.
Have a Thorough Inspection
By taking the initiative to have your home professionally assessed for mold you will have access to all details regarding the extent of the mold problem and you will also be provided with expert advice on the options and costs involved in solving it. At the time of the inspection, inform the inspector of any known problems, past and present. Following the completion of the inspection, documentation will be given to you.
Selling a Home with a Previous Mold Issue
Tackling a mold problem will probably require a mold remediation. This tactic consists of getting rid of the mold currently growing in your home and it also involves finding what initially caused the mold growth. A mold remediation treatment gets to the root of the issue and appropriate measures are taken to prevent a recurrence. At the end of the mold remediation process, a mold air test is conducted to certify that no mold spores are present in the air of your home.
Documentation is Key
Document all inspections and repairs that are conducted; before, during, and upon completion to show that you put forth every effort possible. Having this process done before listing your home will enable you to present the pre-inspection and final reports to your listing agent. Further, if potential buyers request to review the documents they will be readily available.
By following this approach, the information is provided upfront so your home can be priced accordingly and as for home buyers who have no tolerance for such issues as mold, will not waste your time or give you false hope that you have a buyer.
Further, with the upfront disclosure and proof that you resolved the mold issue to the best of your ability, you will less likely be held liable for future growth following the sale of your home. After all, you made full disclosure; therefore the buyers were aware of what they were signing up for.
Facing the Issue Head On
Mold issues have to be addressed with and the sooner, the better. In the event the mold is found after you’ve listed your home, be prepared to cover the cost of having the mold cleaned up. On occasion there are buyers who are not scared away by mold issues, but may request as a contingency of the sale that you cover the entire expense of repair or split it with them.
Having mold will impact the sale of your home. It is not a problem that can be ignored, nor is it one that can be handled without expert care and the correct equipment.
There are No Quick-Fix Solutions to Mold
Avoid the temptation to cover up visible mold spots with paint as this will be a very temporary way of hiding the unpleasant look of mold; but it is not at all a substitution of handing the issue correctly. Even the stain-killing paints do not address mold. Whenever mold is present, it is constantly producing and contaminating additional space. The mold stains will quickly seep through the fresh coat of paint and all the while, will be inflicting more damage underneath.
Handling the mold problem appropriately in the home you are selling will prevent further risk, including structural damage. It will put you in a better position for selling your home with peace of mind. Anyone selling a home wants to make as much as possible, leaving no money on the table. When you take the steps listed above, you will be well-equipped with many of the necessary requirements for overcoming the hurdle of having mold in your home and successfully finding a buyer.
Again, mold grows easily and quickly. Mold remediation is not uncommon in homes and oftentimes is just another form of home repair. And, finding a mold inspector in your local area is just a phone call away.