Selling a house infested with mold is very problematic because many potential buyers tend to back out of a deal if discovered, potentially drastically hurting your home marketability. In this article, we discuss what mold is, where it grows, the health effects, and how to get rid of it.
Mold is a fungus common in buildings and homes; it is not an odd appearance in a home. It grows in places with a lot of moisture like windows, leaks in roofs, water pipes, or where there has been flooding. What most people do not know is that many building materials provide suitable growing conditions for molds. These materials that encourage mold growth include wet cellulose materials like paper and paper products, cardboard, and ceiling tiles. Other materials are like paint, wood and wood products, and wallpaper. You see, these are very important structural elements of a house that you cannot easily scrape off and live without.
Some health effects come with mold exposure, especially to those with weak immune systems, allergies, and underlying respiratory diseases like asthma. Mold exposure leads to symptoms like stuffy nose, wheezing, red and itchy eyes, and in cases of exposure to very large amounts of mold, it may cause difficulty in breathing. This does not mean that the rest are not at risk of developing these allergies, considering that almost 40% of the US population has allergies. For these health reasons, home sellers are advised to do something about a mold infestation in a property they intend to sell.
There are certain regulations in the state of Massachusetts that address the mold issue in homes. Another chapter of the Sanitary Code (105 CMR 410.020) establishes Minimum Fitness Standards for Human Habitation that applies to all dwelling places. This code requires those dwelling owners to maintain structural elements like roofs and walls in good conditions and free from chronic dampness, and it defines this chronic dampness as the appearance of moisture, mold, or fungi from time to time. Another Code requires that the state should publish brochures for home buyers with information on home inspections. It requires home inspectors to notify clients that answers to any questions like whether there is any mold in the building should be clarified by the sellers and may not be readily observable through inspection.
Here are 5 Steps to Sell a House with Mold:
Identify Where the Mold is Located
You should figure out where the mold is and the extent that it goes. Your nose should guide you in this process as you visit each room of the house to check for a musty smell. You are advised not to look in the obvious places only because this way, you will miss out on areas like crevices, corners, and confined places, which may lead to the reoccurrence of mold later on.
Once you find small clusters of black spots, seal them off to avoid spread, use bleach or ammonia to get rid of them while wearing protective gear, gloves, and goggles. Then rinse off the area with water to remove the chemicals you’ve used to clean. We strongly recommend consulting with a professional mold remediation company as well.
Look for the Cause of Mold Growth
Check for where they might have found their way to your house, check the pipes and water sources. Also, look at the windows for condensation. You might want to consider a humidifier to minimize moisture.
Get a Professional, Licensed Mold Inspection
This inspection will reveal how infested your home is and how to go about it. Seek help from a professional to be certain. Mold remediation companies typically test air and surface samples from various locations to determine the severity of the infestation.
Be Completely Honest & Upfront with Buyers
Honesty is the best policy, and it might save you a lawsuit filed against you by an outraged buyer for not telling them about the mold condition in your home. This may lead to a refund or withdrawal from the house deal, putting you in a bad position.
Consider Selling Your House As-Is for Cash
Depending on the severity of the mold in your home, you may need to consider discounting the value of your home , or face difficulty trying to find a buyer (unless you’ve fully mitigated the mold) using a professional company. Keep in mind, mold remediation can be an expensive process depending on the severity of the situation.
As professional, BBB accredited cash home buyers, we are happy to discuss your situation with you to give you the best possible cash offer for your home (in as-is condition) to avoid potentially spending thousands of dollars on addressing the issue on your own. Alternatively, we’ll guide on various options to find a solution that will work best for you. If you’re currently thinking about selling your home in Massachusetts, be sure to learn how we buy houses and feel free to reach out to us via e-mail so we can chat!