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What To Know About Selling A House With Lead Paint
Lead paint is an old hazardous type of paint that contain lead as one of it’s main ingredients.
Lead poisoning can cause serious health ailments to children and pregnant women as lead affects the development of kids.
So common was the use of it in construction and remodeling projects that people tend to assume that a house built before 1978 has lead paint by default.
That was the year lead paint was banned.
This is why if you are selling an older house, and unaware of whether it has lead paint problems, it is better to err on the side of caution and hire certified professional lead inspectors to conduct an inspection.
You can also purchase DIY test kits to do the job yourself.
Disclosure of the presence of lead
It must be said that while the law requires homeowners to declare the presence of lead paint when selling a home, having no knowledge of it’s presence does not mean that one is negligent.
It just means that the seller has nothing regarding lead paint to disclose.
But if a buyer finds proof that a seller was aware or informed of lead problems in the past, then he would have to face the backlash of the law.
The reason why sellers are not too eager to make such declarations is that it can make the house seem less desirable to buyers.
A beautiful house can suddenly be perceived as a hazard to health.
Buyers would have to spend money on lead removal, and would inevitably want to negotiate a lower price for the house.
To avoid an risks of liability, a lot of home sellers actually just make the disclosure that the house (built before 1978) uses lead paint when they had no idea whether that is true or not.
At least this way, a buyer would take steps to manage the problem instead of being oblivious to any risks that is present.
So the answer to the question Can I sell a house with lead paint is yes. But you have to make a declaration of the issue to ensure that the buyer is informed.
The buyer must be given a copy of the EPA Protect Your Family From Lead Pamphlet and any other documentation required by law such as the Property Transfer Lead Paint Notification.
Check with the real estate agent when unsure.
Removing lead paint
If you don’t even want such a problem to affect the selling price of the home in any way possible, then the logical thing to do is to completely remove the blemish and order a removal of lead paint.
After all, a buyer might have problems obtaining financing for such property.
Lead paint removal is a job for professionals just like asbestos removal.
Fine dust particles can be inhaled when working on them. So it is better to leave these tasks to professionals.
But expect to pay for them as these services can be expensive depending on the size of the area including the walls affected.
Once the problem is fixed, you will be given a letter of compliance that says that the house is lead-free.
Again, it must be emphasized that there is no requirement to delead a house to sell it.
However if you are a landlord, a premise must be deleaded for tenants to inhabit it if there are pregnant women or children below 6.
Should you delead?
While the presence of lead paint can pose serious health problems, take note that the law only link these vulnerabilities to pregnant women and children under 6.
This means that you could very well, still fetch a good price for the house if the buyers do not fit that profile.
But some people might feel that it is morally wrong to sell a house with such underlying problems to unsuspecting buyers.
To avoid facing the prospect of buyers haggling over the closing price, removal of lead paint might be a good decision that would pay for itself.
On top of that, you get to sleep better at night without that thought of someone’s family members potentially suffering from a house you sold them hanging over your head.
And if you insist on not removing them, then make the disclosure and leave it to the buyer to settle the problem himself.