Buying or Selling a Moldy House
Written by: William Sergio
Imagine buying the home of your dreams? You are recently married, you are about to have children, your financial health is abundant, and all of a sudden, your personal health is being compromised because you just bought a home with mold! Shockingly, this happens to many unaware home buyers.
Presently, moldy homes are sold everyday in Florida. To be clear: almost every home has mold. Mold is everywhere. Sadly, mold is unavoidable. The problem is when you buy a home that goes above the safe level of mold or has any trace of the dreaded Black Mold (Stachybotrys).
In many states such as California and Florida, by law, you must disclose when a house has an unsafe level of mold. Whether you live in a state where mold disclosure is or is not required by law, a mold report should be included in your due diligence. It is important to know if the home you are buying has a history of water damage, if pipes have burst, if the windows or roof have any leaks, etc.
Mold Assessment Report
A mold inspection should be done by a professional and in Florida, a licensed Mold Assessor, before a home is purchased. Some states require that brokers or real estate agents disclose problems they know about but in the end, it’s always buyer beware. Remember, a home is your investment. You need to take every step possible to protect that investment. More importantly, the health effects of Mold are real and proven. Mold symptoms are hidden and can adversely alter you and your family’s health. That is why it is so important to make sure you perform a mold assessment before you purchase a home.
In addition, mold can be hard to detect with the visible eye. Mold damage can be apparent, or it can be hidden. It can be hidden behind the dry wall. That is why it is crucial to get a mold test done if something smells funny or if the house has a history of water damage.
Inspectors are supposed to look for signs of water damage and mold, but sometimes they give it an okay without diving further. That is why it is important to be on top of this when you are buying a home. This can be an expensive and an annoying problem, so detecting it early will help you to avoid some serious headaches in the future. Mold spores spread. The more time you wait to get your house remediated, the more expensive it will become.
Remember that mold that is already in a home you a purchasing is a pre-existing condition. Insurance companies will not cover this. If you buy a house that has mold, you will have to pay for this out of pocket.
What happens when Mold is found during a home purchase?
BioResponse Restoration has been on both sides of this situation. Generally, the home buyer will request a credit on the purchase to rectify the issue. Occasionally, the seller will remediate as condition to close on the deal.
Our advice is simple: Make sure the mold is properly remediated by a licensed mold remediation company before moving in. Preferably a company chosen by the buyer, as they will be left with the issue if not properly remediated. Our experience has shown us many instances where home buyers use the credit as a negotiation tool but either don’t remediate or use an unlicensed handyman to remove or clean mold. Needless to say, besides being unethical, it is a danger to the health of anyone living in the home.
Equally important is setting up a proper containment and properly remediating. Mold remediation is a skill that requires experience, practice, and in Florida, a license. Hiring Bob, the handyman to clean with bleach could lead to mold being spread not removed. This will give a false sense of security and will increase the future cost of remediation. Please hire a licensed professional like BioResponse Restoration.
Selling a Home with Mold
As previously mentioned, it is ethical and legally enforceable to disclose potential mold issues when selling a home. In many cases though, the seller doesn’t even know they have mold. Take this scenario for instance:
A home is under contract and in due diligence period. The seller of original home, having their home under contract, goes out and finds a new home. Then puts it under contract with a large deposit. During the due diligence of the original, Mold is found, and buyer wants to back out of deal or to receive a hefty discount on home. Now the seller has no leverage and worst of all must close on their new house or lose their deposit.
Undoubtedly, this game is played almost daily by buyers and sellers. The best way to avoid this dilemma for sellers is to be proactive and have a Mold Assessment Report created before putting the home on the market. If Mold is found, make sure you consult with a professional mold remediation company for an estimate. It is better that the problem is rectified before commencing a contract with a buyer.
Whether buying or selling a home, call BioResponse Restoration for professional water damage restoration and mold remediation services. We have been in business over 15 years and are the preferred vendor for Miami Dade County. If you ever need water restoration and mold remediation services, WE GOT THIS! Our number is (855) 887 – 4272.
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The people, especially the lead Manny Pozo, was professional and personable. They used more time and equipment than estimated to dry out a troublesome are that concerned me and never once even suggested increasing the bill. They went well beyond my expectations.
Professional, forthcoming and quick response. After hurricane Michael there were lots of vultures and low life’s trying to take advantage of the victims. Nicolas responded quickly completed the quote, which was below what I expected, and they stuck to it. Manny responded with his crew and completed the remediation in a timely, safe, clean and professional manner. The major thing they did was showed concern for safety, compassion for the victims and respect for you and your property. Great Job, Thanks!
I had a noticeable leak in my ceiling and I called BioResponse to come assess the damage. Manny made an appointment with me immediately and was at my house the next day. The work by this company is neat, professional and fast! I highly recommend them!
If you or someone you know has a Water, Mold, Fire or Biohazard emergency, BioResponse Restoration is the company to call!