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Can You Legally Sell a Home with Mold?

Posted by ServiceMaster YSI | September 21st, 2020 | No responses

Real estate disclosure forms are intended to reveal defects to an interested buyer. After all, the cost to repair concealed issues could potentially fall on the buyer. But in Illinois, sellers are not bound by state or federal statutory requirements to provide mold disclosure forms.

When a home being sold contains the presence of substances, like radon or lead, however, sellers are mandated by statutory requirements to provide disclosure forms. When the amount of radon in the home surpasses a certain threshold, it triggers cause for concern and remediation.

In the case of the extent of mold growth, however, there are no established criteria that would trigger cause for alarm. Sellers are required, though, to disclose the property’s physical defects. Defects could be caused by underlying problems—like moisture, which can lead to mold outbreaks.

When a seller knows a mold problem exists on the property, it is up to that individual to either disclose the defect to the buyer, or to take it upon himself to repair the issue. The real estate transaction could ultimately be ridden with ambiguity once the mold disclosure is introduced.

Although a seller is not legally required to disclose a mold problem, the seller should envision himself in the buyer’s shoes. A seller should consider whether the presence of mold would dissuade a buyer from making the purchase. If the answer is yes, it is advisable to disclose.

What Options Does the Seller Have?

A seller could choose one of two routes when a mold issue exists. The seller could fully remediate the mold growth. Alternately, the seller without upfront financial means should be prepared to compensate by lowering the asking price. The asking price should factor in the condition of the home.

Remember, there is a buyer for every home, no matter the condition, as long as the price corresponds with its condition. Homeowners are urged to repair a mold issue for as long as they inhabit the home to protect the health of members of the household.

Upon deciding to sell, the seller’s agent may suggest a home inspection. A professional home inspection will reveal the presence of any structural flaws, mechanical issues, or safety hazards. The seller then has the opportunity to provide a full disclosure in the event he forgoes making repairs.

What is Involved in Mold Remediation?

When a seller chooses to repair a mold outbreak, a mold remediation specialist or company should be sought out. Mold remediation technicians remove and clean up mold colonies. Once the mold growth is eliminated, they return the home’s humidity level to one that is considered normal.

A team of mold remediation technicians apply antifungal and antimicrobial cleaners to kill mold spores latching onto hard surfaces. Soft materials require that the technicians send them out for deep cleaning. Specialists will also perform reconstruction services, like replacing damp or mold-infested drywall.

mold caused by a water leak in the attic of a house, as checked by a technician from ServiceMaster YSI in Quincy, IL

Mold in the attic could be an indication of a water leak in your roof. If you notice mold in your home, call ServiceMaster YSI in Quincy, IL right away.

The extent of mold growth dramatically affects the price of mold remediation. An attic seized by a massive mold outbreak will require that the roof be torn out, as well as the insulation. Joists must be repaired, and baffles will have to be replaced.

Remediating mold flourishing undetected in an attic space can put homeowners back by as much as $7,000. Mold remediation in the basement and crawl space is slightly lower, between $500 and $4,000. On average, homeowners pay approximately $2,000 for professional mold cleanup.

Once a seller provides the documentation of work done to remediate the mold problem before selling the property, the buyer is likely to feel more comfortable with moving forward with the real estate transaction. The seller may follow up with a mold inspection or warranty.

Are sellers responsible for disclosing property defects?

Home buyers and sellers should be aware that the presence of extensive mold growth is an extension of a larger problem. While a small cluster of mold spores may be killed with bleach, mold thriving in the attic reveals a continual drainage issue or ventilation problem.

Defects like these should be disclosed to the buyer. In Illinois, sellers are responsible for disclosing defects under the Illinois Residential Real Property Disclosure Act. Detailed explanations of potential flaws should be provided to the buyer, as mandated by Illinois law.

The seller that knows or should know about the property flaws, yet does not provide an explanation, could be liable to the buyer at the time of sale. Illinois laws cover a range of fraud and negligence, as related to real estate transactions, to protect buyers.

Liability is heavily determined by the language in the purchase contract. The seller may provide a warranty that guarantees certain property components will be functional at the time of closing or when possession is transferred. When warranty issues arise, the buyer should react quickly.

Delaying the addressment of warranty-related problems could make it seem the dilemma surfaced well after the purchase of the home—it looks to be like a new issue, not one aggravated by a latent problem. It is important for buyers to carefully review their contracts to determine who is liable.

Mold growth is a common issue caused by moisture problems. Since mold feeds on moisture, an organic food source and oxygen, fixing the water leak will help resolve the issue. But when a mold outbreak has spun out of control, homeowners should consult ServiceMaster Cleaning and Restoration.

ServiceMaster Cleaning and Restoration crews provide highly effective, professional mold remediation services to residential properties. Trained technicians first isolate and assess the extent of the outbreak. We repair the moisture source and remove mold from affected belongings and structural materials.

Some building materials may be permanently damaged, as mold spores eat away at the porous structures. In such cases, our specialists remove these materials from the site. We also thoroughly clean the affected area. A customized mold prevention plan is developed.

We are a reputable mold removal service equipped with environmentally safe cleaning agents and staffed by technicians knowledgeable in mold remediation. ServiceMaster Cleaning and Restoration is prepared to provide 24/7 emergency mold cleanup services to residential homeowners in Quincy, Illinois, West Central Illinois, and Northeast Missouri.

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