Mold

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What is the substance in the pictures below? How would you describe it if you were telling a friend about the images? Have you ever encountered a property like this before? If you are a real estate agent, have you sold something similar? If you were planning to purchase a fixer-upper in the Sacramento Region (or elsewhere), would a blackish-greenish substance like this deter you from entering contract?

When appraisers come across issues like this, one would think we’d simply call the substance “mold”, but that’s not the case. The truth is that since a real estate appraiser is not a fungus or mold specialist, it’s important to not speak definitively about something that another licensed professional should be the expert on. Moreover, what if the substance was not just mold caused by excessive moisture damage, but ”toxic mold”?

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So what do appraisers say when encountering properties with an issue like this? Well, until we get clarification or a definitive pronouncement from a licensed mold professional, we simply describe the substance in words similar to “an unknown blackish-greenish substance”. When we do find out what the substance is, then we can better determine the impact on market value depending on cost-to-cure and the reaction in the marketplace to the existence of such a substance.

On Fannie Mae’s 1004 Appraisal Form, real estate appraisers are asked to identify any physical deficiencies or adverse conditions that might affect the livability, soundness or structural integrity of a property. The blackish-greenish substance in the photos above might potentially impact livability, right?

For further reading on mold, see the following links. You are welcome to suggest a link or share a story above in the comments sections.  Thank you to an appraiser colleague who provided these images to me out of his work file.

Mold Links:

www.lundquistcompany.com/blog An Unknown Blackish-Greenish Substance

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