How can I sell my house even if there is mold growing inside?

Mold is one of those things that everyone knows about, but no one wants to talk about. It’s not something you see every day, but if you live in an area where it’s common, then you’re probably familiar with the smell or odor.

You might think that having mold growing inside your walls would kill your ability to sell to potential buyers, but it turns out that mold is actually pretty easy to hide. In fact, it’s so easy to hide that it’s often done intentionally. While you might think that having mold anywhere in your home would make it impossible to sell your property, there are alternatives that sellers can use. 

What is Mold?

According to the CDC, mold is a fungal growth that forms and spreads in damp areas, and can be found inside and outside. When it comes to mold growth, some of the favorite spots include include the basement, bathrooms, and the attic.

If a seller allows the mold problem to grow, it can affect the health of the inhabitants, but also the structure itself. 

Quick Mold Facts:

  • Mold loves damp, warm, and humid environments.
  • Mold can cause serious health problems, including respiratory infections, allergic reactions, and even cancer.
  • The fungi  can grow on almost any surface, including wood, paper, carpet, and food.
  • It can also cause damage to your home, including to your walls, ceilings, and floors

3 Ways You Can Sell a Home with Mold

1) Sell your Home to an Investor

A cash home buyer (also called an investor) is a company composed of real buyers. Cash Buyers buy houses and fix them up before they sell them. They do not care if the houses are in bad shape. They just want to make money off of them. Investors can buy properties as is, regardless of the condition they are in. They also close quickly because they don’t need to wait for a loan or an appraisal from a bank. In addition, cash buyers work directly with sellers, so there won’t be any commissions paid to real estate agents.

Pros of Selling your Home to a Cash Buyer

Selling a home in anything but a hot market can be a daunting task.  Try selling a home with black mold and you will find it nearly impossible. A homebuyer that pays in cash will buy a home in “as-is” condition. 

One advantage of selling your house to a buyer is that the entire real estate transaction will typically take place within a few short weeks.

Homebuyers don’t need to get a mortgage to purchase your property. They pay with cash so that means that sale is speedy.  In addition, there aren’t any hidden costs or charges that they will try and slide past you.  Paperwork is at a minimum, also sellers won’t have to go through any inspections or the appraisal process.

Home buyers usually don’t need any additional forms of ID when buying a property. They’re not required to show proof of income or assets in order to quality for the purchase.

Cons of Selling to a Cash Buyer

Selling a house without fixing it up can be expensive is a certainly a luxury. Investors who pay cash will want to pay less for your home than you might be able to fetch on MLS. The cash offer they may you will take into account repairs, marketing, and selling the home once it has been repaired.

When selling a house to an investor, due diligence is important. There are many legitimate buyers out there, but there are plenty of scam artists too.

Finding the right Home Buyer can be tricky. Here’s how to

Newcomers to the real estate investing business often lack experience. Avoid them if possible; instead, look for experienced real estate investment companies.

Home buyers need to be aware that scams do exist and there are people out there looking to take advantage of you. Sellers can protect themselves by doing some basic homework before they sell their house.

 Do your research and get an understanding of how much money you think you can get for your home.  Put together a short list of cash investors and be sure and get bids from at least three of them. There are many with companies that allow you to get cash offers straight from their websites.

But if an offer seems too good to be true then it probably is. Beware of any offer which appears too good to be true. It may well be a scam. 

2) Traditional Sale with a Realtor

In a traditional realtor’s sales process, a potential realtor will visit your property and evaluate it. He or she will then compare it to similar homes they have seen in order to determine if your property is underpriced. If the market value of your property is higher than the estimate, they may suggest ways you can improve it so that it sells faster. If your house needs major repairs, the real estate agent will let you know how much work will cost before suggesting any improvements. Finally, the agent will stage your house to attract buyers.

A good real estate agent will help you sell your house by helping set an appropriate asking price. Mold removal can be expensive, so you’ll need to factor that into your asking price.

There are several advantages to selling with a real estate agent.

Houses that have been affected by water damage or mold bought and sold everyday. However, it requires an expert real estate agent who knows how to navigate the legalities of the transaction. An experienced realtor becomes your trusted friend during the entire sale.

A real estate agent who knows how to sell houses with different kinds of damages will be able to recommend the best contractors for mold remedial services. He/she will refer you to companies that can repair damaged walls, floors, etc. And he/she will know which kind of remedial service satisfies the average customer.

A good realtor will advertise your house for sale by reaching out to local agents, newspapers, magazines, websites, etc.

They will tell you which rooms need to be staged first, and then they will help you stage them.

A traditional realty transaction involves selling your house for its actual market worth. Your realtor negotiates on your behalf to get you the highest possible price. He/she may be able to smooth out any concerns buyers might have about the past water damage.

Cons of Selling with a Realtor

You will be responsible to pay for any repairs needed to fix the problem.  This usually includes mold remediation and an inspection. You might have to replace the entire HVAC system.  A traditional homebuyers won’t purchase a home with existing water damage or flooding problems. They require a seller who can show them the work done to repair the damage.

Staging or updating will not be an additional cost in a traditional sale. It will simply be part of the normal sales cycle.

Showing homes is often disruptive for everyone involved.

A traditional sale takes several weeks to complete. If there’s a mold disclosure, it may take even longer.

Salespeople often charge buyers an additional fee for their services. Closing costs may include things like title insurance, property taxes, etc. You might also find out that there are some unexpected costs that weren’t included when you first purchased the house.

How to Select the Right Agent

A good realtor will be easy to deal with and will go out of their way to help you sell your home. If you have a home with mold issues, you may want to choose a realtor who will take extra care when advertising and selling your home.

You might want to ask people who recently sold their homes for real estate professionals they’d be willing to refer. Sites like Zillow can also be helpful for finding an agent. You might also look at your local MLS online and call some of the real estate agents advertising properties in your local area.

Contact a few of these recommended agencies and ask them about your specific situation. Ask their opinion about what your home is worth.  Compare the numbers offered to you by different agents. There are always people who know what they are doing and those who don’t. Cut out any agents who are the outliers. 

3) Sell It on your Own (For Sale by Owner)

Selling your own property on the MLS is one of the toughest options available. It involves so many things. You need to set an asking price, prepare the listing, advertise, negotiate, show the property, arrange inspections, handle repairs, etc. Price your home too high, and your home will acquire a large days on market (DOM).

However, you don’t need to go it alone. There are several ways for you to get help from others. And you can still hire a realtor.

Advantages of selling yourself include:

Selling your own home may sound good, but it can also be a very risky venture. You’ll save money by avoiding an agent’s fee, but you could lose out if you make a mistake. Here are some things to consider before selling your property yourself.

Cons of Selling FSBO

You have to decide for yourself what the asking prices should be. If you choose an asking prices that are too high, you may lose out on some potential sales. If you choose an ask­ing price that are too low, you could end up making less than you would if you had chosen a different asking prices.

You shouldn’t count on selling your house to a traditional real estate agent without fixing/repairing the mold issues.. And the costs associated with remediation and repair will be the same as if you were trying to sell through a traditional realtor.

If there isn’t a real estate agent to help buyers overcome their fears, then you’ll need to reassure them that the source of any mildew or mold hasn’t been permanent. And if they were just minor at first, you’ll be the one to tell them that there has never been a health risk.

Staging and updating costs will be similar whether you use an agent or not.

It may take some effort to sell your own property, but if you’re willing to put in the time, it could be worth it. And even though it might not feel comfortable for you to sit through an open home inspection, it can help buyers see things they wouldn’t otherwise notice.

You will need to obtain all the releases and disclosures on your own. These must be obtained before signing any documents. This is a crucial protection against future litigation.

You will pay the costs as you would for any other property purchase—except no commission at all. Remember though, a realtor representing the buyer will still want a commission. If you choose not to sell to a buyer represented by a realtor; you will cut out your pool of buyers. 

Selling a House After Mold Remediation

Consider the following example:

You have completed all the repairs and issues including remediation. Remediation means removing the cause of the problem. Once the source of the moisture has been removed from all areas, whether by fixing the water heater, repairing a pipe, or whatever, there won’t be any future issues.

2 possible situations:

  • The potential buyer likes the home; but the mold disclosure terrifies them.  What can you possibly do to set them at east. You need to address the mold issue head on by saying something like, “I know we don’t want to disclose any issues but if there was anything wrong with our property, we would be disclosing them.”
  • An investor makes a low ball offer and tries to scare you into selling at their asking price. How can you possible tell the cash buyer that they are wrong and you are right?

Keep this in mind as you talk with any potential customer. If there isn’t any moisture, then there won’t be mold growth  Mold can’t grow without water. When the water is removed, the mold disappears. So if you want to keep your home dry, remove the water before the mold forms.  

If you understand how to make your home safe again, this is an easy task. First of all, lower the humidity  by placing a dehumidifier in the crawl area. Or place a vapor barrier on the ground of the crawl space. Next, clean the molds off the walls and insulation all of the ducts. The mold won’t come back (this is not the same as having a musty odor and spongy sheet rock with gray and black matter throughout the house; a property of this type may also be a total demolition).

Don’t lose it! And don’t let yourself get too carried away. You can sell a condemned home, if you’re willing to sell at the right price. But remember; if there isn’t any moisture, there won’t be any mold.

Before even thinking about selling your home, understand both the remedial steps taken to remove the presence of existing mold and the causes of mold so that you know what to expect when potential buyers come through the door.

When selling a home, disclose mold issues.

Can I sell a house with mold?

It is perfectly legal for sellers to sell houses with toxic black mold to any interested buyers. However, there are certain states where it is illegal to sell a residential property without disclosing previous or current mold issues.

It’s not overly complicated.  For instance, a homebuyer buys homes “AS IS”. When the sellers accept the buyers’ offers, they’re no longer liable for any existing problems in the properties. However, what happens if the sellers purposely concealed a mold issue from an investment group.  Even though the investors and homeowners sign contracts stating otherwise, the investor buying the property can file a lawsuit against the hiding party.

The problem is not about the sale of a home with mold. Rather, it is about disclosing mold to a prospective purchaser. It is legally permissible to sell a property with mold. However, it is better to disclose any mold problems (present or past) for the benefit of the buyers and sellers alike.

A toxic mold disclosure Defined:

A toxic mold disclosure document is NOT a legal contract between two parties. The reason for this form is to notify the potential buyer- that mold may exist on the property. The buyer then releases the seller from any responsibility in the past, the present, or the future pertaining to these issues. 

Make sure that your property sale is safe from any potential lawsuits. No matter what state you live in, make sure you obtain both a toxic mould disclosure and release document and have them signed before you close at the title company. These documents can be downloaded online, but they are much safer if you use a lawyer who knows how to protect you against possible litigation.

If you're selling a house, you may need to disclose mold if there has been any visible evidence of mold within the last

Federal laws do not require the disclosing of molds. Each state has jurisdiction to regulate its own laws regarding disclosures. However, litigation involving mold is on the rise. No matter what the current law is in your state, make sure you are protected against potential lawsuits if you sell a house with past or present mold.

For example, in most US states, the buyer has the responsibility to discover any hidden damage to the house before buying it. However, in some US states, the seller is legally obligated to disclose any past or current mold, termites, or other structural problems. And some US states require both the seller and the realtor to disclose any problems.

A seller who has no knowledge of a mold issue can still be held liable for an unknown defect. However, ignorance of a potential for a claim is not an effective defense against a claim.

In conclusion, disclose (any) defects in the property. Disclose (any) other defects in your home. Make sure the purchaser signs off on your disclosures and release you from any other known problems with the home.

Have a home with some kind of damage that you don’t want to make repairs on.  Get your free cash offer today! Sellers never make repairs, pay realtor commissions, or any closings costs. 

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