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Can environmental toxins or pollutants like mold kill a sale?

As a precautionary measure, many Illinois homeowners will pay for an inspection before putting their homes on the market. What happens if the inspector finds environmental toxins or pollutants such as mold? Does that kill your chances of selling your home? Perhaps not, but it may put some additional liabilities on you as the seller.

The media has built up mold to be so toxic that it can cause cancer. The jury remains out on that particular claim, but mold can cause a host of health issues. Those issues may be persistent irritants to healthy people, but to the elderly, children and pregnant women, they can be very harmful.

Even so, the public perception of mold could drive potential buyers away from your property. Not to mention the fact that if there is mold in your home, there is more than likely some sort of water leak as well since mold thrives in wet environments. Even if the water leak was fixed, the mold still requires remediation.

The Environmental Protection Agency requires that you deal with the mold issue no matter what. However, it does not stipulate that you must fix the problem prior to the sale. You will need to determine whether you should fix it or offer the buyer some consideration for taking on the home and fixing the mold problem after the sale. This may depend on how much the problem will cost to fix.

Many potential buyers shy away from homes with environmental toxins or pollutants such as mold, but it does not necessarily have to be a deal breaker for the right buyer. Negotiating some sort of compromise with the buyer could allow you to sell the home without going through the time and expense of cleaning up the mold. Finding out that mold is in the home you want to sell may be disheartening, but it does not have to be. Talking to an Illinois real estate attorney could provide you with alternatives that you may not otherwise consider.

Source:, "Buying and Selling a Home With Mold", Accessed on Dec. 10, 2017

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