Santa Cruz Real Estate: Fight Mold Before Buyers Run

Posted by Lauren Spencer on Monday, June 14th, 2010 at 11:01pm.

Spring is the rainy season for many parts of the nation and, for those areas where spring doesn’t bring rain, summer does. Rain brings mold, mold grows on your Santa Cruz real estate and buyers run. Of course, if it doesn’t rain, there’s always humidity, which can also cause mold and mildew in the home.

How do I know if I have mold?
Well, for example, if you get up in the morning, walk into your living room and find a swimming pool where your couch used to be, you might have mold once the water dries up. Of course, if you have swimming pool in your living room every spring, you can always use it as a selling point… “Living room boasts natural, seasonal pool!”

On the serious side, mold is often indicated by a musty, often sharp smell in the home. You also might see dark smudges and/or blotches on surfaces. While excessive humidity can cause mold, those whose homes have had some form of water damage should be the most concerned. Types of water damage can include anything from a leaking roof to a toilet overflowing.

What’s the problem with mold and mildew?
The problem with mold and mildew is once it creeps into your Santa Cruz real estate, it takes a brigade to kick it out. Also, mold and mildew problems fall under many states’ disclosure laws, so you may not be able to legally keep it from the buyer.

If you find out you have mold, you have two choices:
1. Tell the buyer and either lose them or take a hefty chunk out of your sales price.
2. Pay a hefty price to a mold removal company. The real kicker is even if you pay to have the mold removed, you may still be required to disclose that the home had a mold problem.

What should you do about mold?
The best way to deal with this smelly invader of the home front is to destroy it as soon as you first smell the musty, earthy odor. Track it down and kill it.  Plenty of mold-killing products out there do the job nicely on small patches.

If you think you might have mold and can’t seem to track it down, check with your health department. They may have recommendations of where to go, who to talk to or other ways to find the mold that you haven’t used.

If you’re trying to sell your Santa Cruz real estate, you can’t let something as annoying as mold ruin the deal. Even if the property is sitting vacant, keep your eyes, ears and – most importantly – nose sharp!

If you’re trying to sell your home and need an experienced guide, I can help. Call me at 831.662.6522 or email me at for more information.


Mold and mildew in the home

Excessive humidity can cause mold

Mold-killing products

About Lauren Spencer

Award-Winning Santa Cruz REALTOR®

Lauren Spencer is your local real estate expert, specializing in Santa Cruz real estate and surrounding communities—this is where she lives, works, and plays too. Let her know your questions about the community and county and she'll be happy to fill you in on all you want to know! Lauren Spencer has consistently been voted best local REALTOR in Santa Cruz and is always happy to offer her advice and expertise. Call her at: 800.226.4717.

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