How mold can affect property value is a common concern for both sellers and buyers. Mold in a home does not have to ruin a sale! But it can negatively affect the property value if the problem isn’t handled correctly and timely. Part of the negative affect on property value is over all perception. For example, no potential buyer wants to walk into a home with mold, it simply just isn’t appealing. Not only does it affect the appearance and the perception of the property, it may incite fear in the buyer due to the potential health effects of mold. Keep in mind the following to prevent mold from lowering your property value.
Mold Disclosure. Each state has it’s own regulations when it comes to mold disclosure. Be sure to check with a real estate lawyer or realtor in your state to avoid costly legal problems.
Attics and crawlspaces. Mold is usually found in obvious places such as basements and under sinks but in our experience, mold is typically overlooked in attics and crawlspaces. Mold in these areas is often times discovered during the sales transaction by an inspector or appraiser. Be sure to thoroughly check attics and crawlspaces before putting a property on the market.
Water source. Mold problem indicates a water problem! You cannot have a mold problem without a water problem. Even if the mold is removed or painted over, it will return if the water source is not repaired. 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 over 24-48 hours may also need to be replaced. Sellers should check the entire home for water problems and repair them as soon as possible.
As a buyer, mold on a property may present untapped opportunities. There is a negative stigma attached to mold and the home may be perceived at a lower value and scare away other buyers. We find that many mold problems associated with real estate transactions are often overblown and not nearly as costly or difficult to fix as most would assume. If you come across a mold problem, don’t walk away – use it as negotiation tool! Ask for compensation to fix the mold and water problems or negotiate a lower selling price.
To wrap up, if you are a seller make sure to check the home thoroughly for mold and water damage to avoid decreased property value and potential legal issues due to 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 be able to remove the mold yourself. If you are a buyer, use a mold problem to your advantage and bargain with the seller. If you are unsure of the extent of a mold problem, consult a professional and obtain several estimates. Mold does not have to keep you from purchasing your dream home!