Mold spores are all around us on a daily basis. They’re floating around in the air, and, if conditions are right, they cluster and grow into a fungus that can crawl across almost any surface of your home. And once that happens, mold can be incredibly hard to kill.
Living in a moist, subtropical environment makes mold a particularly common and troublesome occurrence. If you’re trying to sell a house with mold in Florida, you cannot afford to mess around. The presence of mold in your home both drastically impacts your selling price and makes you liable for any damage, which could mean a lawsuit.
If you suspect you have a mold issue in your home and you’re getting ready to sell your house as is, there are a few very important steps to take first to protect yourself and ensure you get a fair price for your house.
First, you need to find the mold. If you have very obvious mold growth (think black spots on your walls), this might be easier, but mold is very sneaky and has a tendency to do a lot of damage before it becomes easily visible to the human eye. You should check each room of your house in the most common spots for mold growth.
In the bathroom, the most common spots for mold include the shower, tub, sink, and toilet. In the kitchen, you want to check around the sink and refrigerator, as well as spill-prone places like the stove and microwave. In areas like the bedrooms and common living spaces, check around heating and air conditioning vents. In the laundry room, the washer is the biggest culprit. Think of anywhere moisture is present, and check there thoroughly.
It can be especially difficult to locate mold in your walls and carpets if there are no visible signs, but if you have any inkling it might be there (a “musty” odor, peeling wallpaper, condensation on the walls, etc.), you probably need to have a professional come out and inspect things for you. These are often the hardest areas to battle mold, and paying an expert to find it won’t be cheap. But if you suspect it’s hiding, it’s best to confirm that before moving forward with a sale.
Hopefully, you locate any mold issues in your home prior to putting it on the market. But if you’ve already initiated the selling process and you discover mold, you absolutely must disclose it to potential buyers. Fixing the issue will take money out of your pocket and cost you time that will, unfortunately, increase your home’s “days on the market” number, but if you plan to sell to a private buyer, it’s non-negotiable.
It can be frustrating to find mold in a home you’re trying to sell when you know it’s likely to drastically reduce the price, but this isn’t an optional step. You’re required by law to disclose this type of damage to your buyer, and if you don’t, it leaves you open to liability for any home damage or health issues the mold may cause once new owners have moved in. It’s a one-way ticket to a messy lawsuit. If you find it, you have to fess up.
Once you’ve confirmed you have mold in your home, you have two options: address the mold issue, or sell your home as-is. The better choice will depend on how much money and time you have to throw at the problem.
If you are determined to get the full market value of your home when selling, you can go the route of treating the mold. It’s very important that you find a trustworthy professional to handle the process. It’s typically a two-step approach: first, the mold is killed, and then the area is treated to prevent re-growth.
Cost will vary depending on the extent of the growth. If you only have a few small spots to deal with, you’re probably looking at $500 to $900. If it’s present throughout the walls or HVAC system, you could spend anywhere from $3,000 to $20,000 or more. It also may take weeks or months to eradicate the problem fully before inspections can be done and a sale can be closed.
If you don’t have that kind of cash on hand and you don’t have the luxury of time, selling to a home buying company is your best bet. Meridian Trust has worked with a number of sellers with mold in their houses. We work exclusively with individuals and can close in 30 days. If you need to sell a house with mold in Florida and don’t want to pay for costly repairs, call us today to learn more about selling your house as-is for cash.