Sellers Tips

1. Disclose, Disclose, Disclose. Failure to disclose is perhaps the most common problem that sellers encounter. Whether it is intentional or not, failure to disclose will cause some major headaches in the future. Maintain a comprehensive list of all repairs (minor or major). Pay particular attention to issues involving water damage - even seemingly small problems. If areas such as wall cavities need to be inspected, prepare to do so long before you list the property (see #3 below). If you are in doubt whether you should disclose small concerns, do not hesitate... go ahead and disclose. Disclose everything and do not conceal anything.

2. Make All Necessary Repairs. Before you list the property, be sure to take prudent steps to repair all damage related to water intrusion and mold contamination. Now is not the time to cover up mold growth with bucket after bucket of paint. If you suspect a mold problem, hire a professional to investigate. If a major mold problem is discovered, be sure that professional becomes involved at an early stage. You don't want to run the risk of cross contaminating other areas of your home. Remember, a modest expense now can save thousands on the sale of your home or in litigation costs in the future.

3. Document. One of the advantages of paying the added expense of a professional mold investigation and abatement is that you now have sound documentation for future disclosure. You can demonstrate with confidence that you have taken the steps necessary to identify and repair all known concerns. But be sure your consultant and abatement contractor provide a detailed account of all work performed (and all important dates).

4. Educate and Cooperate After hearing the countless nightmares of moldy home purchases, buyers are becoming much more knowledgeable on mold contamination and the risks it poses to their new home. As a seller you too should become aware of your rights and liabilities. At the same time, respect the buyer's concern without giving into their every whim. If there is a justifiable reason to suspect microbial contamination, work with the sellers to resolve this issue. There are right ways to investigate and there are wrong ways to investigate. Consult with experts to determine your options. Meanwhile, maintain a positive and constructive dialogue between yourself and the prospective buyer(s) - or the respective real estate agents.

5. Be Willing to Assume Partial Costs. If legitimate unabated concerns exist, either agree to repair the problem before the sell or be willing to assume partial cost for future repairs. But be sure to agree to limits - signing a blank check is an invitation to financial disaster, especially in litigation matters involving personal injury. The same holds true for areas that you know have been repaired but clearance testing demonstrates residual levels of contamination. Was the contamination removed? Well, it may be impossible to tell with 100% certainty, so if a chance exists, agree to a fair amount for future testing and repairs should the problem resurface. Clearly, you will want an attorney to review all agreements prior to singing on the dotted line.

6. Perform a Mold Inspection Prior to Listing. The proactive seller will already have the results of a mold inspection in hand prior to listing. We only recommend this if the property has sustained prior water damage or mold contamination. Your proactive stance will be viewed as a good-faith gesture. But be sure to follow through by giving the buyers the opportunity to contact the consultant directly. As we mentioned above under "tips for buyers", mold inspections for real estate transactions differ from the "typical" mold investigation, namely because invasive inspections (wall or ceiling cavities) are rarely acceptable. Here are a few protocols that can be performed with minimal damage to the existing infrastructure: visual assessment of all accessible areas, photographic documentation, moisture assessments, sampling, and review of disclosure statements, maintenance records, and prior abatement or inspection protocols. The cost of performing a mold inspection will depend on the expertise involved and the type of work performed. But depending on the location, you can expect to pay between $500 and $1,200 for a mold inspection by a qualified expert.

Contact 3D Environmental Industries, Inc. for all your inspection needs.




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