If you are a homeowner in South Carolina selling a property, you may be wondering what information about a property you are required to disclose. Common disclosures about structural defects are common, but what about disclosing mold? Likewise, if you are a potential homebuyer in South Carolina, you’d most likely want an honest disclosure about the properties conditions and defects.
To the question above: the short answer is “yes.” If there is toxic mold in your home (not common everyday green mold or mildew), then you are required to disclose that information according to the State of South Carolina.
What Do I Have to Disclose in South Carolina?
The South Carolina Residential Property Condition Disclosure Act is a statute requiring sellers to provide a statement to purchasers about any problems or defects before the buyers sign a contract to purchase the property. According to South Carolina Code § 27-50-40, the seller must supply the “purchaser a written disclosure statement” that addresses major areas the home and property.
Areas that require disclosure include:
- Water and Sewage
- Roof, Chimney, Floor, Basement, Foundation and Other Structural Components
- Plumbing, Electrical, Heating, Cooling and Other Mechanical Components
- Current or Prior Infestations of Wood Destroying Insects or Organisms
- Zoning Laws, Building Codes, Boundary Disputes, or Easements Affecting Property
- Presence of Lead-Based Paint, Asbestos, Radon, Methane, or Other Toxic Materials
- Present Rental or Lease Agreements on Property
In a disclosure form developed by the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation, “toxic mold” appears under the “other toxic material” in a section on “Environmental Hazards.” The only exceptions to the SC Residential Property Condition Disclosure Act are new construction sales and agreements where both parties agree to forgo any disclosures.
What About Mold That Has Been Removed?
The disclosure form is really to inform buyers about present problems or defects, which creates a somewhat gray area for mold problems that have been fixed. If the mold has been removed and doesn’t exist, it is not a current issue that needs to be disclosed. Mold can be a tricky one though because it can lay dormant or out of sight until conditions for growth present themselves. South Carolina real estate attorneys recommend homeowners to be honest and transparent as it’s generally worse if you attempt to hide a defect that later becomes a problem for the buyer.
The good news is that the disclosure doesn’t need to be completed right away. You can wait until after the inspection to complete the disclosure, which can let you know if the removed mold is actually still gone.
Trying to Sell Your Home with a Mold Problem?
The SC Disclosure Form gives you the option to claim “No Representation,” which is neither “yes, there is a mold problem” or “no, there isn’t a mold problem.” “No Representation” claims are their own red flags, so talk with your licensed South Carolina realtor before completing the disclosure and sending it off.
If you’ve listed your home and find yourself with a mold problem, your best option is to hire a professional mold removal service like MasterTech Environmental of Myrtle Beach. Having mold in your home will scare off many potential buyers and those that are still interested will look for big savings.
To learn more about MasterTech Environmental of Myrtle Beach’s mold and water damage services, please contact us today.