How To Keep Mold In Homes From Killing Your Home Sale

Mold in crawlspace.

Mold in homes is not an uncommon problem.  A 2003 University of Arizona study found that 100 percent of homes have mold (although not necessarily the dangerous kind). It is a real disappointment to find your dream home, only to discover after the inspection that there is a mold issue.  Typically, mold is found in a crawl space on the floor joists and/or insulation. This type of mold can be cleaned but sometimes the jobs are small and sometimes they are quite large.  Mold comes from moisture and moisture can cause rot in framing boards as well.  If, however, the mold makes its way in the duct work carrying air into the home, this is a different ball game altogether.

Depending on the severity of the mold found in a home, some home buyers consider mold a deal-breaker, as it can make you and your family sick and can weaken walls, ceilings, and floors.  We have seen numerous deals fall apart over mold in the crawl space.

It is very advantageous for home sellers to have pre-sale home inspections.  Home inspectors will look at the crawl space and report on whether there is a problem.  If mold is found, sellers can get ahead of any potential downstream problem by consulting a mold remediation specialist and cleaning the mold and making any necessary repairs before the house goes on the market.

For buyers, if mold is found in your dream home during the home inspection, consider consulting a mold remediation specialist before you completely write off the home.  It is not difficult to clean the mold but what must be done is repairing the source of the problem to begin with.



Mold remediation specialists are experts at spotting mold and making recommendations of how to treat that mold so it does not return. Mold growth is commonly found in moist, damp areas, such as the crawl space, air ducts, and attic. A common source of water in the home is poor rainwater management.  If the grade outside is not directing water away from the home, that water can collect and eventually allow mildew or toxic mold to grow.

A reputable mold remediation specialist should perform, at a minimum, the following:

  • Assess the extent of the mold problem and identify mold-damaged materials.
  • Identify the origin of the moisture problem.
  • Plan a mold remediation strategy and adapt guidelines to fit the unique situation.
  • Remove mold growth and remediate the affected area.
  • Repair the water or moisture problem.
  • Clean and dry moldy materials, and discard moldy items that can’t be cleaned.
  • Perform follow-up inspections to check for the return of moisture and mold.
  • Provide a transferable warranty for their work

If mold is discovered and the parties decide to hire a mold remediation specialist, how much is it going to cost? The answer: anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand or more. It depends on the extent of the mold problem and how much work is going to be needed.  Sometimes structural repairs need to be made as well.  This should not scare a buyer. It is rare to find a problem that can not be fixed and fixed property.  According to the professionals, most mold problems in real estate transactions are usually on the smaller size and cost far less than most sellers and buyers would assume.

Of course, it is not always worth it to put forth the time and money involved in hiring a mold remediation specialist. You will want to consider whether the cost of repair is worth it, and whether or not the current homeowner is willing to negotiate on the selling price.

As real estate professionals, we deal with issues like this every day.  We are trained to handle issues like mold and know the top mold and water remediation specialists to work with locally.  Don’t hesitate when you are thinking of buying or selling a home to reach out to top realtors to help you through the process.