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Grrr, Realtor Says Hire An Inspector to Avoid Mold

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This morning in the Daily News, a writer asked a real estate agent, who has a question and answer column in that publication, what parties are responsible for repairing things such as mold uncovered during a home inspection. The real estate agent gave an answer that seems pretty lame-brained to me. I tried to comment on that site by choosing the "discuss" option but for some reason it's not working so I find myself complelled to vent here.

The real estate agent begins her response to the writer with, "Your son is jumping into murky waters because mold is a serious problem that usually can’t be fixed, no matter whose responsibility it is." Usually can't be fixed!? What planet is she living on? I can understand that sometimes it's more expensive to repair an issue that led to explosive mold growth, and then to abate the mold and restore the home, than it is to tear the house down and completely rebuild it, but the last time I looked that was the exception and not the rule.

What if it's only a 3-inch diameter spot of mold on some drywall beneath a leak at an angle stop and the amount of visible mold growth encompasses less than six square inches and then when the wall is opened up it's revealed that total spread is less than 2 square feet? The way she's answered this makes it sound like. in her mind, such a house would be inhabitable, and she'd tell her clients to walk away, because mold "can't be fixed"? What is it about this stuff that causes normally rational people to completely lose all common sense?

If that wasn't bad enough, she goes on to state, "He should hire a professional home inspector. It will cost about $300, but an independent inspector will have no conflict of interest regarding the sale of the home, so he will give you real answers about the repair of any problems, like mold, found during the inspection." OK, I don't know about others, but $300 was the average cost of an inspection in 1996 and is substantially less than I charge almost 13 years later for inspecting even the smallest/simplest house. I wonder if she would like it if the inspection profession went around telling folks that they should never pay more than half a percent in real estate commissions? OK, don't answer that, this topic area is about mold and indoor air quality; I'm just venting, remember?

That aside, if she's convinced that mold can't be fixed no matter how serious it is, why in the world tell folks to hire a home inspector to tell them what they already know - there's mold in the house. Seems like it would make more sense for her to tell folks that every case is different and that, if they're concerned with mold, folks should hire an indoor air quality firm to check out any mold they see in a home and let the inspector deal with identifying the deficiency that led to the mold growth in the first place - stuff like water leaking into a wall due to missing head flashings or improperly installed bitutene flashings behind the siding around windows or doors, roof leaks and the like.

This is the kind of thing that makes me nuts; I don't pass out advice to folks about how best to find a real estate agent, how much of a commission is fair to pay an agent, or define the scope of what a real estate person should do for his/her client, what makes these people think they're somehow imbued with the responsibility to declare what I should get paid and how I do what I do? This is kind of like a tax consultant telling someone to see a dentist when the person is complaining about headaches and blurred vision. Grrrr!!!




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Barbara Corcoran

Chairman of The Corcoran Group, Best Selling Author

Barbara Corcoran’s amazing rise to the top has become the stuff of legend and inspiration. Despite straight D’s in school and over 20 jobs by the time she turned 23, she became one of the country’s most successful entrepreneurs, creating a multi-billion dollar real estate business. As a speaker, Barbara brings her front-lines experience and infectious energy to every person she meets. Motivational, inspirational, and sometimes outrageous, Barbara Corcoran’s tell-it-like-it-is attitude is a refreshing approach to success. (my bold)

"Thoughts?" I'd say it looks like she is maintaining her grade average!

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