I’ve been reading and hearing about mold lately, and that’s a good thing, because it is a serious real estate issue which is not fully understood by most agents, but should be.
Those who have been impacted by toxic mold in the past have good reason to be paranoid about encountering it again. The effects of it can be extremely debilitating and can, I’m told, result in permanent damage to one’s immune response.
My recent professional encounters with mold as a real estate issue are instructive of its impact.
First, I had a listing which went under contract quickly after the seller completely prepped it for sale — new carpeting, new paint, new tile flooring, and even removal of “popcorn” ceiling (after testing it for asbestos content). The model seller!
As soon as we were under contract I submitted the seller’s property disclosure to the buyer, who promptly terminated the contract without any inspection. Why? He saw on the disclosure that a frozen hose bib ten years ago had resulted in minor flooding of the lower level, which necessitated replacement of carpeting and the bottom several inches of drywall. Testing for mold would not satisfy them, unless the current new carpet was ripped up and the drywall opened to look for mold. I suggested they call in a mold dog (dogs trained to sniff out mold behind walls and under carpets) and I would pay the cost ($200 or so) if mold was found.
The second episode occurred last week. Buyers loved a home I showed them, and, at my suggestion, looked for neighbors they could chat up about the house and the neighborhood. One neighbor told them the house was infested with mold and would probably have to be scraped. Having seen no outward signs of mold, I asked the listing agent, who told me that the previous owner had claimed mold as a reason for not paying his mortgage (it was foreclosed on), but sent me a mold report that showed no evidence of mold.
So there is lots of fear on this subject, but it is, sadly, rooted in the very serious health effects of mold when it truly exists in a house. Scott Lagge of Pinnacle Mortgage learned about mold the hard way and watch himself and his wife and children slowly decline in health getting no diagnosis or wrong diagnoses from medical professionals until his own research brought him to the realization that there was hidden mold in his home.
Click here to read Scott Lagge's story of his family's fight to diagnose, then deal with the effect of mold in his home.
Click here to read Scott's informational explanation about mold and how to survive it.