Realtors, as a Buyer's Agent, what advice would you give your client if during the home inspection the

Asked by Karol Vander Ploeg, Colorado Springs, CO Thu Oct 25, 2007

presence of mold was detected in the attic? Walk away or remediate?

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Diane Glander, Agent, Spring Lake, NJ
Fri Oct 26, 2007
Once a mold inspection was performed and it was determined what type of mold is present, that's when I would give informatiion to my clients and let them decide. Some molds are quite toxic, most are not. If I was buying and the black mold (Straph...) was present, I would think long and hard. Molds can be remediated, but beyond remediation, the source must be removed or taken care of or the mold could come back.
I recently sold a house with mold. It was a pennisyllium mold which isn't toxic at the level present in the house, but had elevated levels 8X the amount outside. We got 2 estimates for remediation--one for $5400 and one for $2100! Both companies doing the same work.
Like Ute said, there are no recommended standards, no EPA acceptable level charts, basically no interpretation data out there. I have a great article about mold and the "scare" that the industry has aroused with homebuyers. If anyone would like a copy, reach out to me either through Trulia or my website, below. I'd be happy to fax it to you.
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2 votes
Stacy Karel, Agent, Chicago, IL
Thu Oct 25, 2007
How unique is the property?.. How hard was it to come to the deal? If your client is considering going forward- spend the time and money to bring in a specialist to give you an estimate of the mold issue remediation. Many times- it is minor and the seller may be willing to give a credit to move on.
1 vote
Salt Lake Ag…, , Salt Lake City, UT
Fri Oct 26, 2007
The only thing that matters is. How Much to fix it?
If the price to fix it is reasonable then negotiate it to be resolved. If extensive, negotiate harder.
0 votes
Ute Ferdig, Agent, Auburn, CA
Thu Oct 25, 2007
Hello Karol. That's interesting. I have never had a home inspector who actually said that something was mold. I have had a home inspector who said that something could be mold and we went ahead and took a sample and submitted it to a lab to have it tested for mold. While the sample came back positive, the kind of mold was not toxic and the buyers were advised that the finding was not cause for concern and that the mold was most likely going to go away once the area was properly aired out.

So I think that I would recommend to my clients that they should have the substance tested and then go from there. The problem with mold is that it's omnipresent and there are no accepted standards, which makes it difficult to decide what's acceptable and what is not when it comes to certain types of mold. In the end, I think we have to rely on those who are mold experts and leave the ultimate decision to the client. You just want to make sure that you'll do all due diligence work and give your client the option to back out.
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Brett Dunne -…, Agent, Upland, CA
Thu Oct 25, 2007

You said "...during the home inspection..". Here in California our home inspectors can bring attention to what appears to be mold but we then must have a mold inspector come in. Did you have a professional licensed / bonded mold inspection company detect the mold, analysis the effected area(s) and give you a printed report? If not, I would suggest that you do. And yes, it’s not cheap.
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