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Wednesday, 22 May 2019
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This Old House - Do-it-Yourself

How Mold Infestation Can Affect Property Value

Written by Posted On Friday, 10 July 2015 09:20

Not only can the presence of mold affect the perception of the listed property, but there’s a large chance that it could incite a potential buyer’s  fear of harmful health effects. As a buyer, mold on a property may present untapped opportunities. The home may be negotiated to a lower value and scare away other potential buyers due to negative perceptions about mold. Many mold problems associated with real estate transactions are often overblown and not nearly as costly or difficult to fix as most would assume. However, as a seller, there are ways to monitor and prevent mold so that your home’s sale isn’t dinged by spooked buyers or agents.

 

Keep an eye on the following areas to prevent mold from lowering your property value

  • Disclosing existing conditions. To protect buyers, sellers are required by state and federal law to reveal certain information about the house. These disclosures (often referred to as transfer disclosures) inform buyers about existing problems within the property. It’s important to note that each state has its own disclosure regulations when it comes to mold presence, so be sure to check with a real estate lawyer or realtor in your county to avoid any costly legal problems. Moldman service locations operate out of the following states: Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma, which all require all sellers to disclose any health and safety issues within a signed, legally-binding statement to the buyer.

  • Checking your attics and crawlspaces. Mold is usually found in typically damp spaces like basements and under sinks but it’s also typically overlooked in attics and crawlspaces. Mold is often discovered in these sections of the house during the sales transaction by a home inspector or appraiser. Chances are that if there’s mold growth in your attic, there are likely other issues, too -- from a leaky roof to improper ventilation. Be sure to thoroughly check and work to fix any mold issues in any dark, damp areas before putting a property on the market. The time, effort, and money you put towards making your home habitable and enticing to buyers can contribute to a higher asking price and will certainly pay off in the long-run.

  • Fixing problematic water sources. Mold is usually indicative of a water problem. Even if the mold has been removed or painted over, it will soon return if the water source is not addressed and corrected. Building materials like drywall must be replaced once they have water damage, which could be costly depending on the amount of damage. Carpet that that has been wet for over 24-48 hours may also need to be replaced. If left untreated, mold issues can reduce your home’s property value by 10% -- this figure can increase if other conditions are also ignored. Sellers should check the entire home for water problems and repair them as soon as possible.

Make sure to check the home thoroughly for mold and water damage to avoid decreased property value and potential legal issues that could stem from your state’s disclosure laws. Mold in your property does not have to delay or kill your sale. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in some cases you may even be able to remove the mold yourself. If you are a buyer, you can use an existing mold problem to your advantage and bargain with the seller about the asking price or closing fees. If you come across a mold problem, don’t just walk away – use it as a jumping off point for negotiation! Ask for compensation to fix the mold and water problems after closing or negotiate a lower price.

If you are unsure of the extent of a mold problem, consult a professional mold removal service and ask for several estimates. Don’t let mold get in the way of purchasing your dream home or making a hit sale!

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