Selling your home to escape a mold problem is not an option; buyers and sellers must be aware of the necessary steps for remediation.
We may have chuckled when we heard about the concept of mold impacting a real estate deal, but today it has become an increasingly common part of the process. Not too long ago, it was unheard of to see homes not selling because they hadn’t passed a mold inspection or had special contingencies regarding its presence. Nowadays, however, with so much media attention paid to this issue and greater awareness among buyers and sellers alike as to how detrimental unchecked growth can be – particularly in older buildings – having such inspections is becoming more important than ever.
A recent surge in mold-related litigation has seen attorneys handling more and more of these cases, which have resulted considerable settlements and judgments for the plaintiffs. It’s vital that real estate agents inform their sellers that they are legally obligated to disclose any mold problems before listing a property – even if it is not entirely visible during an inspection. Avoiding such disclosure could be costly down the line!
Mold can be anywhere, but it thrives in wet and dark areas. If a roof has been leaking for some time without being detected, the moisture will create an environment ideal for mold to grow inside wall cavities. Now think of what could happen if someone living or working there is extremely sensitive – by the point you observe visible symptoms of mold on outside walls, chances are that the issue has already advanced significantly from within. This may result in serious legal action!
Mold-related health effects
Mold is essential to our environment and necessary for the decomposition of debris such as fallen leaves. Yet, when mold infiltrates indoor environments like homes, schools, or workplaces it can be detrimental; ranging from respiratory issues (sneezing, runny nose), headaches and memory loss. Adverse physical symptoms are likely in these cases – so vigilance is key!
Though the media seeks to implicate “toxic mold” or “black mold” in certain illnesses, Stachybotrys chartarum is not more dangerous than other molds such as Aspergillus niger and Trichophyton rubrum that may also be present in homes. These species can generate mycotoxins which have potential adverse health effects on humans and animals alike.
Recent studies indicate that nearly one in ten people worldwide are allergic to mold. Young children, the elderly and immunocompromised individuals such as chemotherapy patients can suffer serious health complications or even death if exposed to large amounts of mold over an extended period of time. The effects depend largely on the amount and frequency of exposure to harmful mold spores.
A real estate agent must disclose any known information about a property’s condition to potential buyers, including the presence of mold.
Yes, prolonged exposure to mold can cause health risks such as allergic reactions, asthma attacks and other respiratory issues. Therefore it is important for homeowners and buyers to be aware of this risk before entering into a sale agreement.
Yes, often times there will be extra costs associated with repairs or removal of the mold found in a home when it goes up for sale on the market. It is best to discuss these costs with your real estate agent prior to listing the home.
Yes, depending on the type and extent of the damage caused by the presence of mold, it is possible to successfully sell a home that has some sort of issue related to mold contamination. It is important that prospective buyers are made aware of all details related to this before proceeding with the purchase.
Yes, it is important that all paperwork related to a sale involving treated or untreated areas affected by mold is completed properly and correctly in order to protect both parties involved from any legal repercussions down the line.
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