A property deal can hit many snags, with a mold infestation topping the list of things that can be a serious deal-breaker for homebuyers. Although the problem may appear to be superficial at first, mold often represents various other issues. After all, it indicates the presence of excess moisture in your residence, which could be caused by anything from a burst pipe to a leaky roof that naturally reduces your home’s value.
And there are more reasons why a house with mold can seem less desirable to potential buyers.
- It reduces the property’s visual appeal: Mold often alters a home’s exterior with unsightly and thick black spots and discolorations on walls and roof beams. It’s an unwelcoming sight for potential buyers.
- It deteriorates structure: If mold is left unchecked, it can rapidly spread and infect various materials in a home such as wood and drywall. This can lead to lasting damage to a building’s structure and in severe cases, the entire building may need to be demolished.
- It affects health: According to the National Center for Healthy Housing, mold inside a home can be harmful as it releases allergens and irritants. Approximately 6-10% of people are allergic to mold. If not addressed, mold can result in various health problems, such as respiratory issues, headaches, fatigue, eye irritation, and more.
Mold Affects Both Actual and Perceived Home Value
When it comes to determining the worth of a home, two factors come into play: its actual value and its perceived value. The actual value is based on factors such as location, square footage, and the age of the property. The perceived value, on the other hand, can depend on things like the home’s color, interior design, or personal sentimental attachment to it.
To increase a home’s value and potentially make it sell faster, real estate agents often recommend home staging. However, mold can negatively impact both the actual and perceived value of a home. If potential buyer feels that the home is a risk to their family’s health, they are less likely to be interested in buying it or paying a high price for it.
In addition, people often want to purchase a home that they can move into right away and feel like they are getting something new. Mold, on the other hand, presents the inconvenience of needing repairs and potentially reducing the perceived value of the home.
How to Sell a Property with Mold
For home sellers with mold-infested properties, we want to point out that all hope is not lost. With professional inspection and Utah mold removal specialists, you can get your house back in shape. Here are the steps you should consider.
Conduct Deep Checks
When searching for mold, inspect areas with little activity, such as crawlspaces and attics. Also, check areas prone to moisture, like behind water heaters or dishwashers. Homes that have experienced flooding or water damage are susceptible to mold growth in basements. Thoroughly examine the basement to prevent mold from becoming a bigger problem later on. Early detection can reduce stress and future difficulties.
Determine the Root Cause
Mold often starts as a small growth that may go unnoticed or not be addressed immediately. This can quickly escalate. The most common causes of mold include:
- high humidity
- a leaky roof
- leaks from pipes or air conditioning
- inadequate ventilation
The most dangerous and challenging mold is that which grows in areas not easily visible such as behind walls, in basements, attics, or appliances.
Once you identify the root of the infestation, eliminating mold completely should be easy pickings. Additionally, you can share the common causes of the mold with the new homeowners so they can take appropriate measures to prevent future growth.
Contact a Mold Removal Specialist
You might be able to handle smaller mold issues yourself with basic equipment. However, it’s best to seek assistance from a professional for larger mold outbreaks. These experts use antifungal and antimicrobial cleaners to eliminate mold. Plus, they may:
- Regulate indoor moisture levels and eliminate water damage
- Purify the air by removing mold particles
- Confine the mold growth to prevent spread to other areas
- Clean visible mold spots from surfaces
- Apply protective coatings to reduce the risk of future water damage
Remember to document the mold removal process. If you can, have another mold inspection done after the cleanup is finished. These records can show potential buyers that the mold has been properly removed, giving them peace of mind.
Schedule an Appraisal
An appraisal is done to determine a home’s value before it is sold or refinanced. An appraiser checks for damages that lower the value and improvements that increase it.
It is a good idea to have a professional remove and remediate mold in your home and then schedule an appraisal. Appraisers look closely for water damage and mold, so hire a company that also repairs water damage. Updating the home with a fresh coat of paint or new flooring may help remove any lasting effects and increase the appraisal value.
Make a Transfer Disclosure
To legally document a mold issue, a transfer disclosure is needed. This is a legal requirement that not all states have. It’s important to have a documented account of the mold issue and its resolution for future reference.
In some states, like New York, property owners are now responsible for disclosing environmental and structural concerns. But in the past, it was the buyer’s full responsibility to inspect the property. Now, most states require transfer disclosure from the home seller, but the laws vary. It’s best to consult a local realtor or real estate attorney to confirm the transfer disclosure laws in your area to avoid any legal issues or fees.
Finding mold in your home can be a real bummer if you’re about to sell it. It’s no secret that mold can hurt the value and perception of your property. But don’t worry, you can still turn things around by taking fast action to fix the mold.
Keep your home clean and inspect it regularly for water damage to stay ahead of the mold issue. If you do need professional help, make sure to get quotes from a few different Utah mold cleanup pros so you don’t lose too much money when you finally sell your place.