Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Mold Schmold

by Craig Greenberg

We sell a lot of real estate in Florida, specially Boca Raton and Delray Beach.   

Whenever we represent the buyer, we always suggest three inspections: 

  • Home

  • Pest/Termite

  • Mold 

Mold inspections have become more prevalent lately as part of a buyer’s overall due diligence (DD) on a property.  Whether you’re using a standard contract where the seller is obligated to repair items up to 1.5% of the purchase price (PP) for warranted items and/or 1.5% of the PP for  wood destroying organisms (WDO) or an as-is contract where you have a kick out clause for the buyer if the Buyer does not approve of the property after inspecting it, a mold inspection should always be done. 

If you chose not to inspect within your inspection period, it will then become your buyer’s problem if and when he goes to resell and their buyer opts to do a  mold inspection.  We have run across two types of inspections – full inspections where the inspector takes air samples, interstitial samples and surface samples to detect for mold.  This is the desired inspection because if the air samples show elevated signs of mold, the interstitial samples and surface samples will help located the source. 

The other type of inspection, which I find instigates problems without a solution, is just taking air samples.  I have seen home inspectors whipping out the air sample machine taking multiple samples in different rooms/areas of the home.  The  problem with this method is IF elevated levels of mold are found, the inspector will only tell you in which room or area of the home the elevated levels are found, but won’t tell you the source.  In Florida, the buyer pays for inspections.  When a buyer uses this method of mold inspection, he now shifts the financial burden on the Seller to locate where the mold is coming from.  This can be a process of elimination for the Seller and in some instances I have seen the seller hire a full service mold inspector just to locate the source.  Full service inspectors in this part of Florida are in the $500 to $1000 range.   

I highly suggest having a mold inspection if you are representing the Buyer, and more importantly to save time, stress and possibly keeping the deal together, use a full service mold inspection company and not only take air samples.  This is all my opinion and it is up to you buyer in the end what option they choose, if they do so.