Real Estate

Buying or selling property with asbestos or mold: What to do?

Although asbestos-containing vermiculite nor mold may not sound ultimately enticing for a buyer, there’s no need to panic.

Asbestos is benign and considered harmless as long as it’s not disturbed – only when these microscopic fibres have become airborne do they pose any threat to health. Mold does spread quickly, but technology does exist to completely wipe out the fungus, leaving absolutely no trace.

 

Tips for the Seller:

  • If you suspect vermiculite was used to insulate your attic, have it inspected. A professional (like us), will have the ability to test high-risk areas for the presence of asbestos and identify areas contaminated with mold.
  • If it’s determined that you have asbestos or mold on your property and you will like to renovate before selling, please don’t take the remediation on by yourself. Hiring a fully trained team of professionals will ensure the job is completed in the safest way, without doing more harm to the structure or yourself. A proper remediation company will take all necessary measures as per WorkSafeBC regulations.

 

Tips for the Buyer:

  • In Canada, vermiculite and asbestos are found mostly in the attics of homes built between 1920 and 1990 – this is not uncommon! Buying real estate that contains asbestos or mold does not automatically mean it’s a “deal breaker”.

 

A few options:

  • Go ahead with the deal albeit the presence of asbestos or mold
  • Request that the seller remediate the contaminated areas prior to move-in date, performed by a knowledgeable and respected company
  • Walk away from the purchase
  • Mold remediation, and especially asbestos removal, is not a simple task. Make sure the price of the property correlates with the costs required to remove and seal the affected areas. Once you’ve gotten an estimate for the repairs (our team will provide a free estimate), make sure your agent is ready to bring conditions to the table with regards to these costs.
  • Keep in mind the seller and real-estate agent are required to disclose any and all recognized mold and water problems with the property.
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