Unexpected Mold in Your Oceanside Rental? What to Know About Selling a House with Mold Problems

by | Mar 16, 2017

If you thought the costs of home-ownership ended when you purchased a home, you may have been in for a rude awakening. As a homeowner, you are responsible for fixing every little thing that goes wrong in your house. From upgrades for an aging home to the fixing of leaky faucets and repairs to your drywall when the kids got a little too rowdy playing…it is up to you to have these issues addressed. If not, they will pile up, making it more difficult to sell your home down the road. If your home is a rental, this can sometimes happen without you even being aware. One of the “scarier” repairs to be surprised with is that of MOLD.

We recently worked with a seller who was looking to sell her rental property in Oceanside, which had been occupied by tenants for the past eight years. She hadn’t seen the property in at least a few years and assumed everything was being taken care of (as she never heard of any issues from the tenants). But, upon receiving a home inspection, she learned that her coastal rental was not in its prime and, quite the opposite, suffered from serious mold issues and was in need of many repairs. She thought, “Mold issues!? How did I not know about this?”

mold issuesHow Mold Creeps into Your Walls

What our seller may not know is that mold is everywhere.  Mold is a part of our environment and isn’t really a big problem until it begins growing indoors and affecting air quality. In a coastal town like Oceanside, it is nearly impossible to prevent at least some mold interference. If tenants hadn’t been running the air conditioner during summer and ignored the heater in winter months, it could be very difficult to control moisture levels. Some of the best ways to avoid it include: opening up doors and not leaving your house shut up for too long and increasing circulation and airflow with air conditioning, fans, etc.

Even if you don’t have any leaks in your roof or walls, mold can appear simply due to too much moisture. In our seller’s case, the mold had crept into her walls and under the tile in the kitchen. Now that she knows the problem her property faces, she’s worried that buyers will be turned off by the issue and then run away from the potential repairs and health risks associated.

Things to Consider When Selling a House with Mold Issues

1) Assess the mold problem: How bad is the mold issue in your house? In some cases, mold can be removed and taken care of on your own. If the mold is concentrated in an area of less than 10 square feet, you can probably handle it without hiring an expert. But, if the mold covers more area than that and exists in places that are difficult to get to (ex: in your crawl spaces), you may be better off hiring a professional to do the work. This can cost from hundreds to thousands of dollars, depending on the severity.

2) Fix it before selling: If you decide to address the mold issues before listing the property, be sure to inspect areas that an inspector will look (ex: be sure to climb into your crawl spaces, check your basement, and any other dark cavities of your home). You will still have to disclose to buyers that there was a mold issue, but at least they may find comfort in knowing that it has been repaired and there aren’t any visual eye sores to send them running for the hills.

3) Don’t look – no harm, no foul: If you don’t know that you have a mold issue, you are NOT off the hook. Anticipate your inspectors will find any mold if any exists. If you find a buyer and mold is later disclosed after the inspection, they may lose trust in you and expect that there are other things you aren’t disclosing about the property. Plus, you may find yourself in a lawsuit. If your buyer finds mold soon after purchasing, you can pay heavy consequences for your negligence…whether you knew about it or not.

4) Mold and its impact on selling: If your home has major mold issues, don’t be surprised if buyers will seek price reductions. They may be taking on extra risk with the home, or have to fix the issue if it hasn’t yet been addressed.  In many cases, the realization of mold existing in a house is enough to send buyers away. But, if they do stay, you can absolutely expect price reduction requests and additional questions about the property, like what caused the mold problem in the first place? Are there leaks occurring?

We Buy Homes in Oceanside, Mold Included

Unlike your traditional buyer, we won’t shy away from the mold. The scariest of mold issues won’t make us turn our backs on your property because we have all of the resources needed to correct the problem. Full disclosure: if your home is outdated and in need of a remodel, we will be doing a whole home renovation and getting into the walls anyway. So, taking care of a mold problem during the renovation is something that can be easily handled. You don’t need to do any cleaning or inspecting, because that is a part of our process regardless. If you suspect your home has some major issues and you’re having difficulty selling, don’t lose hope. Give us a call today to receive a fair offer.

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