If you’ve ever met anyone who had to deal with a house full of mold, you’d know that what sounds like a simple problem can easily turn into a nightmare. That’s especially true if what you’re dealing with turns out to be black mold. Mold may start out literally as a microscopic concern, but it can grow into a big issue faster than you realize. If you’re trying to sell your house, it can be a major stumbling block to getting the deal you want.
Can you sell a house with mold in Memphis? The answer is yes, but there are different ways to go about it. Whether you decide to put your house on the open market or sell it as-is to a cash buyer, you’ll want to take certain steps to determine what’s worth fixing and when it makes sense to simply move forward.
What Causes Mold And Can I Sell A House With It?
Find the Mold
The first thing you need to know when you discover mold is to understand and figure out where it came from and just how deep the problem goes.
So how do you know you’ve got mold? You might be your first line of defense. While in the house, does your nose get runny, your eyes get sore, and you suddenly sneeze a lot? It’s possible you have a mold allergy and this is your body’s way of telling you. This is especially true if you feel better as soon as you leave the house.
Another way to tell is to go room by room and check for musty smells. Is there an odor that you associated with the rooms that are damper? That could be a warning sign that there’s mold lurking somewhere.
Now that we’ve sensed it, it’s time to see the mold if you can. Look for clusters of small black spots on walls. Don’t only look in obvious places. Check crevices, corners, confined spaces, and anywhere else where dampness, wetness, and cold temperatures have an amplified effect.
If you find those small clusters, immediately try to remove them. Put on protective gear, use bleach or ammonia, and seal off the contaminated areas. This should stop the spread of mold but you’re not out of the woods yet. If there’s mold you can see, there may also be mold in areas you can’t see, such as inside walls or under floors. Look for water stains, discoloration, or warped wallpaper, all of which could be a warning sign that there’s mold lurking somewhere.
Figure Out What Caused the Mold
So you’ve discovered that you have mold and you’ve figured out how to contain it. The next step is to fix the issue causing the toxic fungus to flourish inside your house in the first place.
Check your pipes and water sources. A leaky pipe under the sink or in the bathroom is often a culprit for mold. Was there ever a time when your house flooded or had puddles of water? Check those spots again as even if you cleaned them once there could be pockets of water or dampness where mold has grown.
Look for condensation on your windows. If you constantly see it, consider a dehumidifier to bring moisture levels down. This can often become a breeding ground for mold. And if there’s anywhere else inside or outside the house where moisture collects, you’ll want to doublecheck that area.
Pay for a Mold Inspection
Mold can be an overwhelming problem, both literally and figuratively. It might seem easy to diagnose and fix the problem, but a real expert can spot the sources that you may not have even considered. Consider hiring a mold inspector to figure out the root causes of the problem and provide valuable solutions on how to contain it.
You can also consider buying mold home kits but their results can often be misleading. Plus, that’s not going to be enough to convince a buyer that the problem is solved. They’re going to want to see that a real inspection took place and an expert has signed off on mold being eradicated from the house.
How much will all of this cost? That depends on the size of the house and the extent of the infestation. Black mold removal in a basement can range anywhere from $500 to over $3,000. Attic or dust treatment can cost anywhere between $2,000 and $6,000. If a house has been flooded and is covered in mold, you could be looking at something north of $10,000. You have to make the best decision for yourself based on your financial situation and how you want to proceed with the house.
Be Honest With Buyers
If you’re going to sell a house on the open market that has mold issues, you are going to want to be as upfront as possible with potential buyers. You don’t want to get far down the road of negotiations only for someone to be surprised by mold damage or potential issues. That will either cause their offer to go down or they may even pull out of the deal due to a feeling of distrust.
In fact, Tennessee has something called the Residential Property Disclosure Act. This requires most residential real estate sellers to complete a disclosure statement that informs buyers about the condition of the property. If they fail to do so, the contract can be canceled and there can even be legal action.
Also, you should know that if a buyer is using an FHA loan, they will be sending in appraisers who know what to look for. In other words, your chances of getting away with not informing buyers about mold damage are slim to none.
But there’s no reason to be shady about it. Just explain to buyers what you did when you found the mold, how it was cleaned up, and what changes were made to the house to make sure that it won’t return. You can’t promise that mold will never come back but at least you can come off as a trustworthy seller who isn’t willing to be unlawful to make a sale.
Consider Selling As-Is
With all of that said, there are a lot of reasons why trying to sell a house with mold damage in Memphis can be difficult. If mold has gotten into the foundation of your house, there is no simple solution. And even if you are upfront with buyers, they are probably going to want to see the price come down to compensate for it. It’s unlikely you’ll be able to get what you were hoping for.
An alternative solution would be to sell the house as-is to a real estate investor like Fair Cash Deal. They will buy a house with mold damage, even if it’s extensive, and they won’t require you to make any repairs or fixes. They’ll come to take a look at the property and then make you a fair cash offer for your house. If you’re happy with the offer, you can accept on your own terms, even in a matter of days. You get cash in your pocket and you don’t have to deal with a mold-damaged house.