Get Offer

Selling a House with Lead-Based Paint: What You Need to Know

By The HomeGo Team On 2019-08-06

It’s essential to understand the risks that lead-based paint presents to you as a property owner.  More so, you need to know the rules regarding lead-based paint in the selling process of your home. In fact, most homes built prior to 1978 will have some lead paint in them. Similar to mold, asbestos, radon, and other biohazards, lead-based paint can make selling a home much more complicated – and expensive!

Here are 7 things to consider when selling a home that potentially has lead-based paint:

1. Could There Be Lead-Based Paint in Your Home?

Many homes have lead paint, but it’s hard to know for sure without a true lead test. However, your physical health may offer some indications of a potential problem. For example, if you have any of the following symptoms, as described by the Mayo Clinic, then you may need to investigate further. Those symptoms include:

  • Developmental delay in children
  • Irritability
  • Loss of appetite, trouble maintaining weight
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Vomiting
  • High blood pressure
  • Headaches

These symptoms are not exclusively related to lead-based paint poisoning, but, if you haven’t been able to pinpoint your illness, consider a test. Paint flakes and dust can be easily ingested, causing lead poisoning. Your doctor can help provide more advanced screenings for this condition.

2. Lead-Based Paint Disclosure

If you plan to sell your home, it’s legally required that you disclose your knowledge of the existence of lead paint. Lead paint sales and applications were banned in the United States in 1978. However, homes that are older than this may still have lead present. The only way to confirm whether or not your paint contains lead is to have a paint lead test. Some buyers may request this, which can be a bit expensive.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency provides some good insight into your responsibilities as a seller. The Disclosure of Information on Lead-Based Paint and/or Lead-Based Paint Hazards is one document you’ll likely need to sign. It simply states that you disclose any knowledge you have of lead-based paint in the home.

3. You Don’t have to Test for Lead

If you don’t know of any lead paint in the home, you just need to sign a disclosure stating that you are unaware of any existing lead concerns. You are not required, under law, to test for lead paint to sell your home. However, if you do so, and obtain a certified lead-free home acknowledgment from the testing company, your home is likely to be easier to sell.

Of course, if the inspection finds evidence of lead, that makes it harder to sell your home. If this occurs, you may have to take steps to remedy the problem or, which is more common, sell it with an acknowledgment of the lead-based paint presence. That could reduce the value of your home or make it harder to find a buyer.

4. Take Precautions When Renovating Your Home with Lead Paint

If you own a home that you plan to rent out a home, and there is lead paint within it, it’s essential that you take precautions to minimize any type of exposure to yourself, your workers, or tenants living in the home. The same applies to making repairs to the home before listing it for sale.

You need to minimize any risk of exposure for those families moving in, too. This falls under the rules of the Toxic Substances Control Act. It’s best to use a contractor with ample experience working with lead-based paint.

5. Give Buyers Time to Test for Lead-Based Paint

Let’s say your home is listed for sale. You don’t know of any lead-paint, but because the home was built prior to 1978, your home buyers want to test for lead paint. You will have to allow them.

Generally speaking, you will need to make arrangements to allow a period of time for them to do so. This is usually about 10 days, but you can negotiate it to a lower period. You can’t deny them the right to test for lead paint and to make their final buying decision based on this information.

6. Provide Buyers with Key Information

Lead-based paint is important to understand because of the dangers and potential health effects. The seller of the home has to provide the buyer with any information he or she has on lead-based paint risks.

The EPA offers some excellent insight to you on this. Regardless of the situation, ensure the buyer acknowledges they’ve received the necessary information (print off the EPA’s brochure to share).

7. You Could Be Sued for Failing to Comply with Lead Disclosure Laws

If you fail to provide this information or adhere to all lead disclosure laws, you could face legal action. You can be held responsible, as the seller, for any health concerns that the new buyers experience due to the presence of lead if you did not disclose it.

What You Need to Know Now to Sell Home with Lead-Based Paint

If your home was built prior to 1978 and you plan to sell it, there’s a high risk that it contains lead paint that can cause serious health effects. Removing this is difficult and expensive, requiring a licensed professional to do so. Know the laws about communicating the lead risk to your new buyers.

Eliminate the potential health hazard and hassle of testing and informing buyers by selling directly to HomeGo. We purchase homes in any condition, including ones that contain lead-based paint. Don’t let poisonous paint put your health at risk. HomeGo is here to help! Sell quickly and move to a safer space.

You may also like:

The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only.