What I'm Seeing Now

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There's No Such Thing As Mold In An Attic

The phone rings and a loud noise blares straight to my eardrum via my blue tooth insert. No introduction, no hello.

"YOU SAY THERE'S MOLD IN THE ATTIC AND EVERYONE KNOWS THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS MOLD IN AN ATTIC!"  At the same time a finger came out of my phone and poked me on my chest emphasizing every syllable.  And I felt some spit on my cheek.  I recognized the voice of Myrtle McGirdle (not her real name), a well known real estate cutie, unpleasant on her best days.  She is the demure listing agent of the house I had inspected that afternoon.

This was going to be fun.  So I played along.  "Excuse me?"

"YOU DID AN INSPECTION ON MY LISTING ON PLEASANT PLACE (not the real street name) AND SAID THERE IS MOLD IN THE ATTIC!!"  The finger moved to my nose and the spit a bit heavier.  It was accompanied by heavy breathing.  The breathing did nothing for me.

Still playing dumb, but being very polite (remember the Scout Law - courteous, kind, cheerful, friendly), "Oh, Myrtle?  Actually I did not say there is mold in the attic.  I said ' there are conducive conditions in the attic space, including a complete lack of ventilation and a bath vent that blows air into the attic space, that are contributing to the substantial evidence of the amplification of molds and/or fungi in the attic structure, sheathing and insulation.' "

"THAT'S JUST HOME INSPECTOR MUMBO JUMBO!"  That time the spit flew into my eye.  I really hate that.

"Actually, as you know, Myrtle, in Virginia I cannot say that something is definitively mold unless there is a mold test which identifies suspected growths as mold.  So that is why the report reads as it does.  But just between you and me, what's up there is mold.  And a lot of it.  You do remember that the house is surrounded by large, high trees and it does not dry out.  That, combined with the lack of attic ventilation and humidity from the house, really contribute to that problem.  And your client covered up the gable vents!"

"THAT'S RIDICULOUS!  I HAVE NEVER IN ALL MY YEARS HEARD OF MOLD IN AN ATTIC!"

"Really?  Gee, I could be wrong.  Can I email you a couple of photos for you to look at?  You are very experienced, and maybe you could tell me what it is.  Would you do that for me?"

"YES, SEND THEM TO ME!  I'LL HAVE A LOOK AND CALL YOU RIGHT BACK!"  That softened her.  The finger stopped.  So I selected a couple of photos and sent them along.

 

 

 

 

 

Now, of course I can be wrong and am willing to be corrected.  If any of you can help the situation, please call me directly so I can get your diagnosis right to Myrtle.

 

 

 

 

 

I don't know.  What do you think?  There are more photos.  It is really bad up there.

Please help.  I want some solid suggestions for when Myrtle calls back.

She still hasn't called.

I don't know why.

She said she would call right back.

For sure she will call any minute now.

I'm hearing crickets.

My recommendation:  Before you ASSail a home inspector to rip a report, don't ASSume anything.  Be sure before you make any ASSumptions.  ASSiduous care to proper information is an ASSet during a business conversation.  Doing that, I ASSure you, your ASSociations with others will improve and fewer adjectives will be ASSigned to your name.  Gee, I hope the photos ASSuaged her curiosity...  She'll call any minute now, most ASSuredly.  After all, we know what happens when we ASSume.

Mold - it's not just for basements anymore!  Got mold?

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 118 commentsJay Markanich • September 22 2010 07:46AM

Comments

You must be very patient...I am not sure I could have been so polite. Of course, the photos tell the whole story, don't they?

Posted by Holly Weatherwax, A Great Real Estate Experience ( Associate Broker, Momentum Realty) almost 8 years ago

Now that's funny LMAO slap kneed and rolling in the floor..

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty AR LLC) almost 8 years ago

What? I've personally seen mold in attics too many times to count and in crawl spaces! My inspector does the right thing like you - you cannot say it IS mold, but you can say "what appears to be a mold-like substance." This agent is off her rocker!

Posted by LaNita Cates (REMAX of Joliet) almost 8 years ago

Holly - I looked at it as an opportunity to have some fun!  Could I strike back?  Sure!  But why?

James - thanks.  I thought it was pretty funny too.  I had this blog in my head last night within 30 seconds of the phone call!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

LaNita - I don't know where she has been in "all her years" to have not known of mold in an attic, but I happen to see it weekly.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Jay, that was a great blog, have actually experienced this myself. You need that attic ventalation.

Posted by David Popoff, Realtor®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct (DMK Real Estate ) almost 8 years ago

You can't say it's mold!? Now that's funny. If you do say it's mold does someone take away your merit badges?

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Jay, sheesh,  well worded post my friend.  It was wise however to not tell that person that mold is actually everywhere!

Posted by Jim Allhiser, Salem, Oregon Home Inspector (Perfection Inspection, Inc.) almost 8 years ago

David - it does help!  And not covering the gable vents...

Jim - I agree.  But in VA we are not supposed to.  Gee, should I recommend a mold test to them?

And ain't nobody gettin' mah merit bayges widdowt a fyte!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

What a great post! At least you were able to find the humor in a situation which could have been something that could really make you angry and raise your blood pressure.

Posted by Kathy Denworth, Realtor in the Florida Keys, Islamorada, Key Largo (Century 21 Schwartz Realty) almost 8 years ago

Jim - I have told my clients that they have mold on their shirts, but it hasn't had time to purchase and grow.  Of course it's everywhere!  I don't know where this lady has been.

Kathy - not mine.  When I have a chance to have fun I take it.  This one was provided on a platter!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Jay, you are one of a kind.  I love your posts... they are SO informative!  And this one is hysterical.

Posted by Margaret Woda, Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.) almost 8 years ago

Jay,

What do you think would be a good solution here? Can this be repaired properly and at what cost?

Brian

Posted by Brian Madigan, LL.B., Broker (RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto)) almost 8 years ago

Well now I know. You can't have mold in the attic. And all this time in my mind I was calling it mold. Please let me know what it is when you find out. Mold is EVERYWHERE

Posted by Scott Baker, Realtor Homes for Sale in Cincinnati, West Chester, Mason, OH Area (www.eHomeReports.com Coldwell Banker West Shell) almost 8 years ago

Jay I've seen that same mold green fuzzy substance in the attic of one of my rental properties.  I ASSumed the green fuzzy substance was not what I wanted to see in my attic and made sure venting was in place.   The fuzzy substance was taken care of appropriately and it has never returned in my attic.  However the cheese in my fridge is a different story.

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) almost 8 years ago

Ummm.... that looks moldy to me unless mold looks different than what I think they look like! Thanks for the laugh.

Posted by Eileen Hsu, LICENSED REAL ESTATE SALESPERSON (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) almost 8 years ago

Ha!  what an amusing story. Thanks for the laugh

Posted by Patricia Aulson, Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes (BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOME SERVICES Verani Realty NH Real Estate ) almost 8 years ago

Jay, you missed your calling.  You would be a hell of an author of books.  You put everything into perspective, and keep it very humorous and interesting.

Posted by Don Spera, Serving York and Adams County, PA (CR Property Group, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Thank you Margaret.  Does it get the mold point across?

Brian - the mold must be remediated everywhere it exists, which is everywhere in that attic.  As to the cost, remediation can become very expensive.

Scott - I was shocked myself.  Hopefully Myrtle will call me to let me know what to call this.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Great blog.  GOod look with Mildred....I think you won this round!

Posted by Susan Lehmkuhl, Associate Broker (Buy and Sell Smart Realty, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Ehhh -- I've seen worse (except it wasn't that nice fuzzy whitish color; it was very black). Similar conditions: lack of ventilation, bathroom vents directly into the attic space, blocked soffit vents... I think the estimate for the "growth" remediation was in the  neighborhood of $12K (your mileage may vary). It's a required disclosure in IL (has its very own form and everything!). I think they finally sold that house...

Posted by Robert & Leslie Lang (Weichert, REALTORS® - McKee Real Estate) almost 8 years ago

Cindy - you don't say!  Gee, maybe this stuff is mold after all.  Now I am wondering about Myrtle.  You mean venting helps?  And, I might say, that green stuff makes the cheese really tasty.  I should know...

Thank you Eileen.  And I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Patricia - but a story with a point.  Well, more than one, methinks.

Don - thank you for that.  Maybe one day I will compile these into something sellable.  Perspective is everything.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Susan - the name is Myrtle, which rhymes with McGirdle!  ;)  This isn't the first round I have won with this lady...

R&L - black molds are common here as well.  And yes, the remediation can cost many thousands.  I don't go into estimating that!

Thanks Don.  Short and sweet.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Jay, the photos told the whole story. You should have suggested she go up in the attic to see for herself. Look like you have a "Duck" situation here.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA almost 8 years ago

Fantastic blog Jay!  That one had me laughing the whole way through.  We have a Myrtle McGirdle on our area as well, sounds like they could be related.  Thanks for the great blog!

Your friends in Fort Wayne

Posted by Amanda Christiansen, Christiansen Group Realty (Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843) almost 8 years ago

You handled that very patiently and professionally. Your blog says it all... i hope the assaillant is lucky enough to see your blog and know they are know famous/infamous

Posted by Scott Godzyk, One of Manchester NH's Leading Agents (Godzyk Real Estate Services) almost 8 years ago

Hysterical!  Well played, Jay.  It's so much more rewarding to kill 'em with kindness, no?

Posted by Tanya Nouwens, Montreal Real Estate Broker & Stager (RE/MAX ROYAL (JORDAN) INC. / Tanya Nouwens Inc. www.readysetsold.ca) almost 8 years ago

Do you mean a duck pond Michael?  As opposed to a flying eagle?  Well, this lady thinks she is the head duck, I think.

Gee, I hope not Christiansen Team.  Although I fear they are everywhere...

Scott - she could never prove it was about her though!  If only she knew how she comes across over the phone, wow.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Catching the flies with honey Tanya?  Gee. I hope she calls...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Jay, my Wednesday morning smile!  LMAO.... you handled that perfectly!!!  And by not striking back.... well silence can speak louder than words sometimes.

Great post!

Posted by Gloria Valvasori, Accredited Senior Agent, REAL Experience | REAL Commitment | REAL Results! (BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS REAL ESTATE SIGNATURE SERVICE) almost 8 years ago

Spot-on writing style. Good info. Carry on, sir!

Posted by Dan Schwieder, Dan Schwieder - Broker (R.I.M. Realty) almost 8 years ago

glad you were able to ASSess this situation and help Myrtle get to the BOTTOM of it.

Posted by Alan May, Helping you find your way home. (Coldwell Banker Residential) almost 8 years ago

Jay, I am really trying to help old Myrtle out here.  Does it snow upside down and is gravity backwards in Virginia?

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 8 years ago

Thanks Gloria!  Would that all conversations went this way.

Dan - thanks again!  And hopefully I will carry on.

Alan - I can tell you that there is a lot of room at the bottom of this one.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

I will pass that along, Charlie, but she might consider it more inspector mumbo jumbo and a snow job.  Keep your fingers crossed.  And thanks for the help!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Jay,

MOLD I say, MOLD darn you!!!

-Brent

Posted by Brent & Deb Wells, Prosper TX (LivingWell Properties) almost 8 years ago

B&D - should I rip my T-shirt off and yell, "Myyyyyrrrtle!  Myyyyrrrtle!" ?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

I don't know, Jay...that's looking like green fog, or maybe the kid's lastest art nouveau attempts.  Maybe it's a microbiology lab area where they are testing food additives.  Maybe it's a ghost that you caught on camera. 

But one thing it's clearly not.........

It's clearly not NOTHING.

Posted by Keith Sellers, Greater Kalamazoo and Lakeshore (Sellers Real Estate) almost 8 years ago

Jay - As I've told you before, you're much more "relaxed" that I am.  I suppose it's the cooler temperatures in Virginia.  Don't think I could remain quite as calm. 

Posted by John Mulkey, Housing Guru (TheHousingGuru.com) almost 8 years ago

Well, it must be nothing Keith, as she hasn't yet called me back to say what it is!

John - when someone offers me such a platter full of fun I will take the opportunity to have some!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Having a bad MOLD day......?

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) almost 8 years ago

I think Myrtle is Richie.  And I am just the messenger!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

That is hilarious ,but true. I had the same thing happen to me earlier this summer. You can never have to many pictures. I usually take at least 100 an inspection. This is one from that job. Thanks for the great blogs.

.

Posted by Brian Persons, Certified Master Inspector (Brian Persons Front Range Home Inspections) almost 8 years ago

I'm thinking mold can grow anywhere. There's proof in the pictures! Sounds like you're dealing with a real loonie!

Posted by Aaron Seekford, Ranked Top 1% Nationwide 703-836-6116 (Arlington Realty, Inc.) almost 8 years ago

WOW.. this is actually entertaining.  You should stop inspecting homes and start writing... I know a couple of Myrtle McGirdles myself.. ay ay ay.

Posted by Manuel Monserrate almost 8 years ago

Wow, Brian - you must have a card for every inspection!

Aaron - and your thinking would be correct!  And as to the loonie, umm...

Manuel - they seem to be everywhere.  Thanks for the compliment!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Great post -- I think someone needs to form a new AR group featuring only "Myrtle" type stories.  I bet there would be a bunch! 

I think we all get sick of the "in all my years", and "I've been in real estate for __ years..." 

Posted by Don Corson (Coldwell Banker King Thompson) almost 8 years ago

Oh well, I've run into the same conversation a time or two I ASSure you...

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) almost 8 years ago

Reading this post is like watching a cartoon - thanks for the chuckle! Funny thing is, there was another post a couple weeks back that said never call anything mold, just like you said you can't call it mold in VA. And the dozens of commenters agreed and talked about how they protect their backsides by never using the 'M' word.  So I have a question for you. Do you know of any situation where someone - be they inspector, agent, or buyer - called something mold, then it was tested and turned out not to be mold? Cuz if there's a black fuzzy substance growing on a wall and my client is foolish to scrape his shoe over it and it shoots out black dust, I'm going to call that MOLD.

Posted by Joetta Fort, Independent Broker, Homes Denver to Boulder (The DiGiorgio Group) almost 8 years ago

You are probably right Don!  You want to start it?

Michael - say it ain't so!  I have having a hard time believing... well, maybe not.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Oh my Myrtle surely does get around.  I just had a conversation yelling episode similar to what you described.. and here is the photo of the unidentified substance.  oh yes, Mrytle says it is "dust"

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) almost 8 years ago

Joetta - once here an inspector called a black spot on a garage wall mold.  There was no reason for it to be there.  It  caused all kinds of headaches and repairs.  They kept the drywall piece.  I was asked to look at it and said it appeared to be a black shoe sole scuff or from a tire.  I was right.  But that inspector had to pay for all the associated repairs.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Interesting spin Joan!  Did Myrtle ever back off?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

I judge your comments as justified.

Nutsy

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) almost 8 years ago

You have given me great ASSistance to deal with future situations such these... however, I am ashamed to admit that my tolerance for finger poking and spit (even if through a phone) is quite low these days... much lower than yours!

Posted by Bill Warner, Infrared Thermal Inspector (BC Warner Inspections) almost 8 years ago

Appreciated as always Nutsy!  By the way, if Wheat was driving that car he has put on a bit of weight!

Bill - yes, but she served me up such a feast of fun, I couldn't help but get my fill!  I can hardly wait for her to call me back!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

This is the post of the month . . . You got my vote! 

You struck a chord with 1,000's of us with this one.

. . . and to my utter amazement I still continually get asked "do I really need to get a home inspection?" . . . Um, yeah, you sure as hell should.

Great post man!

Paul

Posted by Paul Weir (Re/Max Performance) almost 8 years ago

Thank you Paul.  That is all very nice to say!  This one should strike a cord with just about everybody, real estate agent or not!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Oh boy!

Looks like the possibilty of..."mold like substance". To confirm if it is mold, a test would have to be done.

 

 

Posted by T Doe almost 8 years ago

Thomas - it is obviously mold and a test would be a waste of money for my client.  If the seller wants to pay for one, go for it!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Jay,

Around here I would say the attic is the main place to find mold. Between you and me, Wheat had about five lady rock groupies in the car, all on the left side. We do not want Buell to find that out.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) almost 8 years ago

Congrats on the feature.  This pict looks familiar.  Great story.  Also, seems like both attics and basements are both conducive to mold.

But, here's an alternative theory.  Maybe someone threw some paint on the ceiling that just happens to be the same color.  And, when they did that, they put a tarp on the floor so none it would drip or show up there.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) almost 8 years ago

Jay, I appreciate a good honest home inspector. You guys help me protect my clients:) 

Posted by Mike Frazier, Northwest Tennessee Realtor (Carousel Realty of Dyer County) almost 8 years ago

I enjoyed your sense of humor and writing in this post!

Posted by Sharon Parisi, Dallas Homes (United Real Estate Dallas ) almost 8 years ago

Good catch ad definitely something the buyer should be aware of.

Posted by Bruce Swedal, Denver Real Estate almost 8 years ago

When did the line get drawn in the sand you can't call mold MOLD! A lawsuite somewhere I guess. I can tell my mom her cheese is molded, I can see the bread at my home is molded, I can even tell someone their cake has molded. However, less I'm have an attorney on retainer I can't call mold in a home mold?????????????? I didn't say it was deadly, but it is WHAT IT IS!

Posted by Sherry Chastain, Realtor, Selling Homes, Lake Properties,Luxury Homes,Short Sales (Hendersonville, Nashville, Old Hickory, Lebanon Tennessee) almost 8 years ago

Any agent who says there can be no such thing as mold in an attic is an ______. Nuff Said.  Note: I didn't not call this agent an _____, just one who says mold can't exist in an attic.  This point of view is as stupid as saying soap scum doesn't exist on bathtubs when its not cleaned.  Heck...perhaps denial is the new wave of the future.  Just deny it's presence and poof, the problem doesn't actually exist.

I would have directed that rude listing agent to the buyer's agent as your client is the buyer.  She obviously doesn't understand real estate protocol either, big surprise.

Posted by Chris Olsen, Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate (Olsen Ziegler Realty) almost 8 years ago

You handled Myrtle beautifully.  Anyone with an ounce of sense would know not to harASS an experienced home inspector like she did!

Posted by Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging, "Staging that Sells Portland Homes" (Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR) almost 8 years ago

Okay...  now that was funny!  LOL!!!!  :)  And the pictures are good!

Posted by Chris Alston, Silicon Valley, California (Chris Alston (Keller Williams Realty, Silicon Valley, California)) almost 8 years ago

oh....the four letter word, "Mold"!  I see more mold in houses with improper ventilation and with bathroom vents that do not vent out of the house but into the attics.  Proper ventilation would solve many of these problems.

Posted by Damon Gettier, Broker/Owner ABRM, GRI, CDPE (Damon Gettier & Associates, REALTORS- Roanoke Va Short Sale Expert) almost 8 years ago

Too funny Jay! I had one last year (attic that is) with mold deeply embedded on most of 3 sides...but wait...maybe it wasn't mold after all:)

Posted by Barb Szabo, CRS, E-pro Realtor, Cleveland Ohio Homes (RE/MAX Trinity Brecksville Ohio) almost 8 years ago

You are much kinder than most would be.  I know it must have been tough to take a verbal beating from an idiot, lol. 

From your photos it is SO obivous that there are "issues" in the attic. 

Maybe this agent needs her hormone levels checked, lol.

Posted by Elizabeth Cooper-Golden, Huntsville AL MLS (Huntsville Alabama Real Estate, (@ Homes Realty Group)) almost 8 years ago

You have the patience of a saint.

I would not have been so nice and polite.

Posted by Donna Galinsky, Make Lake Norman Your Home! (Allen Tate Company) almost 8 years ago

There are TWO (2) "95/5" rules in real estate:

1. 95% of transactions in any market area are typically done by 5% of the agents in that market, pros like you and me.

2. 95% of the agents with active licenses are MORONS.

(I am waiting for item #2 above to bite me in the ASS when the ASSociation of Realtors slaps an ethics violation on me for ASSerting that 95% of the agents are MORONS.)

Erick Blackwelder

Exit 1st Choice Realty
Woodbridge, VA
703-677-1120

Equal Housing Opportunity

Posted by Erick Blackwelder, Text or call Erick now at 703-677-1120. (Cell: 703-677-1120) almost 8 years ago

Funny story, I really like how you forwarded the pictures over to her.

Posted by Kate Talarico, RESA, Top Orange County Home Decorator & Stager (Kates Home Staging and Interior Design) almost 8 years ago

Jay, if someone doesn't like the result they will try whatever they can including calling us liars. good post

Posted by William Feela, Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No. (WHISPERING PINES REALTY) almost 8 years ago

WOW I hate agents like that.  You have some super human patience.

Posted by Spencer Frazier (SpencerFrazier.com, SoCal Properties, Canyon Lake, CA) almost 8 years ago

HAHAHA! No such thing as mold in an attic?I guess that is decorative then. Thanks for the clarification.

What a great post.

One time we heard an agent tell someone "The house is in a 100 year flood plain and it already flooded once so it's good for another 100 years."

 

Posted by Candice A. Donofrio, 928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text (Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker) almost 8 years ago

Steve - that must be because there are so few homes with basements?  As to Wheat, I promise - no Charlie talk.

Debbie - anything with continual moisture flow or retention is conducive to mold.  Attics not excluded! 

And I am often fooled by that fuzzy paint.  Personally I wish they had never come out with it...    :)

Thanks Mike, but your client is my client too!  In this case, mi casa wasn't su casa...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Yuck!

Posted by Dianne Deming (RE/MAX Realty Group) almost 8 years ago

Sharon - I am very glad you enjoyed it.  I have a fun job!

Bruce - the buyer is not elderly, but up there and would not climb the ladder to see.  But, since the stuff was everywhere she could see it from the hallway!

Sherry - I don't know when the line got drawn, but liability is liability.  If I call something mold and it isn't, well, you know who would get it in the end (so to speak...).

 

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Chris O. - I don't mind if the other agent calls me.  Usually it is a nice conversation and I can collect a new client.  In this case...

Thanks Maureen.  I wasn't harASSed at all - actually it was a lot of fun!

Chris A. - OK, now I'm glad!  There is a funny post to be had every day!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Proper venting, Damon, and the removal of any moisture entrance or retention.  That is all!  Mold is the symptom of the problem, not the problem itself.

You never know Barb.  It could have been cheese, or, as suggested above, fuzzy paint!

Elizabeth - it is attitude, not patience.  I thought it was going to be fun and then had some.  As to the hormone comment, I can only say - ouch!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Donna - when someone makes a fool of themselves, get out of the way!

Wow, Erick - the Pareto Principle used to be 80/20!  The proportions have changed!  This house was down your way!

Kate - forwarding those pics was just the icing on the cake she sent me!

William - that tactic doesn't work on me.  Besides, this was a lot of fun!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Jay, this is how it works...

First, the homeowner gets into the wine that evening.

Then, he or she reads the report.

Then, more wine is consumed...

And then, when the owner is good and emotional (and perhaps nonsensical) does your phone ring!

Posted by Rick Phillips, I care about you and your transaction. (Frankly Realty - Old Town) almost 8 years ago

Spencer - they are out there, but don't confine this kind of person to the real estate industry!

Candice - that is some decoration!  Your quote ranks up there with Obama's aunt Zituti (sp?) who said in an interview that since this is a free country everything should be free... 

Dianne - now that is pretty succint!  Thanks for stopping by!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Rick - that must have been the path.  No way is she like this without alcohol!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Hi Jay~  Why in the world would any agent ever act like that?  How unprofessional, inexcusable and rude! Did she not see the photos already?  I bet she has never called you back either!  She should just admit she made a mistake, bet that will never happen!

Posted by Vickie McCartney, Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY (Maverick Realty) almost 8 years ago

Well, Vickie, she had not seen the photos, only the report apparently.  She could always go over to the house and climb up into the attic and see for herself!  I do not think I will hear from her again.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Hi Jay.

"You are a deal breaking outsider SOB.  What the heck do you know about real estate or closing an escrow?  Do you think for one minute I could actually tell my client what you found?"  

Just kidding. I hear this line at least once per month.

So there is someone else wearing the same shoes I wear. Uncomfortable sometimes?  Change the name and place and I could tell you story line by line over and over.

Being the bearer of bad news to Realtors sometimes subjects us to rants and raves. Ocasionally we are ridiculed and "black-listed" in an office- for the sole reason of disclosing the truth to a single agent.  Thank God Realtors like this are far and few between.  It does though, still hurt my feelings on occasion. I'm just doing the job I was hired to do- to the best of my abilities. After-all, like you, I was hired as an expert!

Posted by Bristol Restoration, When you need it done right and done right now! (Bristol Restoration, Inc 661-294-1812) almost 8 years ago

You are exactly right Jerry.  These kinds of people are few and far between and without them we would forget how much we appreciate nice people!  This agent is the same to everyone.  Seldom does someone have as much fun with her as I did though!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Mold - it's not just for basements anymore!  Got mold?

I love it.

Posted by Jack Gilleland (Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton) almost 8 years ago

Not bad, huh Jack?  Gotta have a tag line in there somewhere!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Jay:I had a home inspector rip me in front of a relo seller a few months ago. We were both there for the pre-listing visit....him for the relo company, me as one of the two brokers doing the BPO/ERC. We just happened to be there at the same time. The house was four years old, and I made an offhand comment about mold while going though the disclosures, something like "the inspection will include whether there is any evidence of mold, and both you and the relo company will sign the disclosure showing that no mold was found on the inspection. If mold is found you will have to do pre-listing mitigation". Mr. Inspector overheard me from the adjoining room and went nutso. He insisted that the only person in the great state of Illinois who is allowed to use the word "mold" is a state licensed tester who verifies that upon testing, the evidence of a stain or substance is, in fact, mold. I said, completely innocently, the Illinois disclosure uses the word mold and that the seller had to disclose whether he knew of mold in the home. Mr. Inspector insisted that we couldn't use the word mold because we were not testers who had tested, etc., etc. The disclosure created by the state uses the word, I can't change it! Talk about a break in a client meeting, one of the most awkward moments I've ever had in front of a client.

Posted by Leslie Ebersole, I help brokers build businesses they love. (Swanepoel T3 Group) almost 8 years ago

I think Myrtle Girdle works here in Minnesota too.  I've spoken to her a few times.

Posted by Reuben Saltzman, Delivering the Unbiased Truth. (Structure Tech Home Inspections) almost 8 years ago

I'm seeing more homes with...

...conducive conditions in the attic space, including a complete lack of ventilation and a bath vent that blows air into the attic space, that are contributing to the substantial evidence of the amplification of molds and/or fungi in the attic structure, sheathing and insulation.

I think it is a result of foreclosed homes with the HVAC off...

Posted by Lane Bailey, Realtor & Car Guy (Century 21 Results Realty) almost 8 years ago

Sorry to hear of your trials - It certainly looked suspect to me - and having had mold in the attic many times both as a sellers' agent and abuyers agent - I know it can happen -  BIG MISTAKE on the other agent's part to assess outside of her skill area -

Posted by Marcia Kramarz, CDPE,LMC,CBR (Re/Max Executive Realty) almost 8 years ago

I loved reading your blog, it was so funny and yet so true to life.....it was "asstounding"!!

Posted by Sophia Lin, Sunnyvale CA Real Estate Specialist (Intero Real Estate Services) almost 8 years ago

We see mold in the attic sometimes...particularly when people over insulate and don't have proper ventilation systems.

Posted by Yvette Chisholm, Associate Broker - Rockville, MD 301-758-9500 (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.) almost 8 years ago

Good time! That is funny. Pretty bold of her to state that there was no mold even before she even saw the photos. 

Posted by Steven Beam, Parker Colorado Real Estate (RE/MAX Alliance - Parker Colorado Real Estate.) almost 8 years ago

Leslie - I think he's mixing apples and oranges.  But get me his number and maybe I can set him up with a Myrtle date!

Reuben - maybe she is part of all local codes.  At least one is needed in each jurisdictional area.

Lane - the AC had been on in this house.  There was a combination of things contributing, but mainly the closed off gable vents.  No air could move in that space.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Marcia - I can tell you from experience and the grape vine that this agent is famous for that!

I am glad you enjoyed it Sophia.  It was fun on the phone and then fun to write.

Yvette - I am not sure you can over insulate, but under ventilation is a big biggie.

Steven - that's because she had never HEARD of it!  And as to that point, I am not sure where she had been during all her years in real estate...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Great job keeping calm Jay. I think any inspector can appreciate the patience it takes to handle these calls in a professional manner. I've been treated that way in person and over the phone too. The idea of not being able to call it mold is rediculous, who came up with that idea?

Posted by Vince Santos, Southeast Michigan Home Inspector (StepByStep Home Services LC) over 7 years ago

Hey Vince, where you been!?  You have to remain calm.  I once had a drunk call me and say that before my inspection his chimney wasn't leaning (it leaned substantially and the buyers pointed it out to me when I pulled up to the house!).  He accussed me of climbing on the roof and pushing it over with my feet!  He was persistent and more than rude and I finally just hung up.

As to the not calling mold, mold - some bureaucrat, perhaps encouraged by an insurance lobbyist or two.  Either way, they don't want us opening a can of worms, even though the worms are climbing out of the can!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Jay:  When are you going to figure out that some agents simply know more than anybody else about everything else!!!  Excellent post. 

I moved out of a house in Warrenton which was deemed by the experts to have toxic black mold -- sorry, can't spell bachy...

You are a credit to your profession!

Posted by Tish Lloyd, Broker - Wilmington NC and Surrounding Beaches (BlueCoast Realty Corporation) over 7 years ago

Wow, thank you Tish!  Do you mean stachybotrys?  Bad stuff.  Good to leave that behind!

Warrenton is just down the road.  You never called...  You never stopped by...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Jay:  Yes, thank you.  It was stachybotrys and there wasn't just a little -- there was a lot!!!!  Sorry, certainly wish I had known you while I was there.  You'd have had a ball with this one!  Dealt with some very interesting folks:  Insurance Adjuster who was furious that the word "stachybotrys" even came up; a "remediator" HAH, with ServPro who was an absolute, total and complete, dyed-in-the-wool, incompetent, money grubbing -- never mind! 

We had air scrubbers, rooms partially closed off, plastic partially taped over doorways which was improperly installed -- lawsuit.  Frankly, it was just too much for too long.  I was renting in preparation for purchase. 

They didn't sell to me, but they did sell to someone else right behind me and to the best of my knowledge it was done without doing remediation and without disclosure.  Very bad business!

Posted by Tish Lloyd, Broker - Wilmington NC and Surrounding Beaches (BlueCoast Realty Corporation) over 7 years ago

All of that, Tish, I think, is against the law.  Especially the selling to someone else without any disclosure.  'Tis good that you got out of there.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Jay- What kind of people are you dealing with? There is so much information on mold, how could she not know it can grow anywhere in a house? I'll tell you, your restraint was remarkable!

Posted by Eric Middleton, Professional Property Inspector (Closer Look Property Inspections Inc.) over 7 years ago

I'm sorry, Eric, but you (and the entire scientific community) and I are obviously wrong.  So we needn't pursue this any further.

What kind of people?  This, and Flippers and illegals and really, really fun houses!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Jay,  Your photos are quite descriptive.   I think something's got Myrtle's tongue!  Here in south Florida we look for mold everywhere.  I wonder what gave her the idea that it can't be in certain places.  She just got a rude awakening.

Posted by Elyse Berman, PA, Boca Raton FL - (561) 716-7824 - CRS, ABR, GRI (Best Connections Realty, Inc.) over 7 years ago

Elyse - it appears she likes to give rude awakenings over the phone.  Glad I didn't get sucked into her schtick.  But I'm sure she will call any time now...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Great blog, Jay.  There's so much realism throughout this blog.  Keep them coming.  Have a great week.

Eldon

Posted by Eldon Hendrix (Hendrix and sons Home Inspections) over 7 years ago

Thanks Eldon!  My blogs are pretty eclectic, but I want to remain real!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Outstanding Jay.  From the humor to the information, you nailed it. Udaman!  From what you described you handled this situation the same way HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC, does when conducting home inspections and mold assessments in Nashville and Middle Tennessee.

Thanks, 

Richard Acree

HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC

http://habitecinspections.com

Posted by Richard Acree, Home Inspections - Nashville TN (HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Richard - if I handled it the way HABITEC does, then that company is a nuts as I am!  And that is kind of hard to believe!   When the tough gets going, I try to inject humor.  But, as they say, you are what you eat!

 

 

 

 

Care for a nut?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

I ASSume you only found conditions conducive to fungal growth in the attic and no where else?

Posted by Mike Gillingham (Eastern Iowa Inspection Services LLC) over 7 years ago

Hi Mike - wow, an oldie but goodie!  You're right, nothing found elsewhere!  Unusual, which is why Myrtle exploded too!  She's a cute, by the way.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

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