Posted by: Robin Gronsky | April 5, 2013

Selling or Buying a Home That Has Lead Paint

My house was built in 1958.  Most houses that were built before 1978 were painted with paint that contained lead.  Under federal law, if you are selling your home, you must disclose whether you know if your home has lead paint, either on the inside or on the exterior.

If your house exterior has lead paint on it, you need a lead-certified painter who will take special precautions when painting.  My house has lead in the paint around the windows, a fact that I was not aware of when I first hired my painter.  When you are painting the exterior of your home, the painter will scrape off the old paint before new paint will be put on.  However, a neighbor alerted my town’s health department and they came running to my house and asked my painter to test for lead.  That’s how I know where the lead is.  I did not have a lead-certified painter and he could not continue with the job of painting of my house.  I had to hire a new painter who did everything necessary to comply with the law and I will disclose this information when I sell my house in the future.

If you find that you have lead paint anywhere in your home, you must disclose it to any potential buyers.  Most of my sellers have no idea whether they have lead paint in their homes and that is what they disclose.  If you are a buyer, you have the right to inspect the home you want to buy for lead in the paint.  I have never had a buyer client actually test for lead paint but if you are at all concerned (and especially if you have young children), it might be worth it to spend a few hundred dollars for peace of mind.

Talk to your real estate attorney whether you are selling or buying a home to discuss your lead paint issues.  Even if there is lead paint present, there are ways to deal with it.

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