This might be considered a rant by some but it could also be a serious issue for agents who are listing homes with “environmental hazards.” Last night was a miserable night for me with a severe headache and coughing. Today the symptoms include a runny nose and sneezing. But even worse is the fact that my clients are suffering from the same symptoms. The reason is simple. Yesterday we toured five foreclosure properties each of them with a wet and moldy basement.
None of the listings for these properties mentioned mold and there were no notices published on the properties or at least on doors leading to the basement. None of the listing agents thought it was important to warn potential buyers that they were being exposed to a toxic situation and none of the agents provided masks at the property to help protect potential buyers from exposure to an unhealthy situation.
Now many will blow this off and say listing agents shouldn’t be worried about the health of prospective buyers or other agents. Perhaps this is true but there are agents who do list in the MLS that the home has mold and to enter at your own risk. Those agents are smart enough to realize that mold is a serious health issue and understand the potential of liability if they don’t warn others about the risk.
So the questions raised after yesterdays experience are:
When agents are doing the pre-listing BPO do they check the box that says “environmental hazards” when they find the presence of mold?
Should banks be required to do mold abatement prior to listing a property?
Should agents as representatives for the banks be required to disclose environmental hazards to prospective buyers in the MLS listing?
How long will it be before an agent is the target of a board complaint or a lender sued by a prospective buyer for not disclosing the presence of mold in a home?
My foreclosure tool kit that rides in the trunk of my car is now expanding. Besides the hand sanitizer, flashlight and flea spray it is now going to include disposable masks as well. I know well enough that I need to protect my clients. Hopefully other agents will realize that they need to protect them as well.