How To Sell A House With Lead Paint

Selling a house with lead paint is the kind of thing that keeps you up at night.

Well, I know it did for me.

In fact, I spent weeks stewing over lead paint in my home and all of the potential worst case scenarios for selling the house. Each night it was it’s own stressful line of questioning in my head:

  • Am I putting someone’s life at risk?
  • Is my own life at risk?
  • Why is lead paint such a dangerous material?
  • How will I sell this house covered in dangerous lead paint?

But then it occured to me:

I can’t be the only one with this problem.

And I wasn’t.

Millions of homes containing lead paint are sold each and every year.

selling a home with lead paint

Luckily, after a sigh of relief, I felt that I was no longer in a dire situation.

Well, not so fast.

Despite homes selling with lead-based paint, there are numerous risks and concerns seller’s need to be aware of:

  1. Health Concerns – Lead-based paint can be extremely harmful to our respitoary functions and overall health.
  2. Legal Risks – Proper disclosure is required to sell a house with lead-based paint. Without it, you risk being liable.
  3. Financial Implications – You need a plan. Will you remove the lead-based paint, seal it in place or sell your house “as is” including full disclosure.

Lucky for you, I’ve done what you’re trying to do. Let me save you the time and headaches!

You see, many years ago I bought this house in Philadelphia with lead paint all throughout. And when it came time to move, I knew there would be some consideration for the risks of lead-based paint.

And there was.

how to sell a house with lead paint

I cannot believe I bought that thing! But anyways…

Let me save you the trouble of having to blindly sell your house with lead paint, not knowing how it impacts the home’s value, the paperwork required and the type of buyer that you can sell to.

In this article, I will show you:

  1. Why lead-based paint is dangerous. Most homeowners don’t know.
  2. How one in three homeowners can be at risk of lead paint.
  3. The most important disclosure you need to cover all of your bases.
  4. The cheapest option to eliminate lead paint in your home.

But before we get to all of that, why would you even listen my advice?

Do I even know what I’m talking about when it comes to selling a house with lead paint?

For one, I’ve already done what you’re trying to do.

selling a house with lead paint in pennsylvania

I’ve sold homes with lead paint. And I’m going to show you how it’s done.

And two, I’m an expert at home renovations and real estate sales. Many publications trust my expertise and knowledge on many household topics. Selling a house with lead paint being one of them!

I’ve been featured in (here, here, here and here), the Washington Post and on Architectural Digest for many years now.

Okay. You’re ready to trust me now? Great!

Let’s jump in!


  • Selling a house with lead paint is up there on the scale of dangerous. Think asbestos, lung cancer, respitory illness and personal liability. Don’t take it lightly!
  • You have options to sell your house with lead paint the right way. Weigh the pros and cons and decide what is safe and reasonable for everyone.
  • If you decide to sell your house with lead paint, you may want to consider an alternative option that is easier than lead abatement or other fixes. The traditional approach is not always the best.

Why Is Lead Paint Dangerous In Homes?

Colorful But Deadly

Lead paint, once a common element in residential properties, poses a serious health risk, especially to children.

Poisoning can result from ingesting lead dust or chips, leading to developmental issues and long-term health problems.

Understanding the gravity of lead exposure is crucial, particularly for families with young children, making it imperative to address lead paint concerns when selling a house.

Lead paint is dangerous in homes when it is dry, friable and airbone as a particulate matter.

Do dangerous levels of lead permeate your home?

How Serious Can Lead Poisining Be?

To comprehend the seriousness of lead paint hazards, it’s essential to delve into the potential health impact of lead poisoning.

Lead interferes with various bodily functions and can lead to neurological damage, developmental delays, and behavioral issues in children.

According to WHO:

“…at high levels of exposure to lead the brain and central nervous system can be severely damaged causing coma, convulsions and even death. Children who survive severe lead poisoning may be left with permanent intellectual disability and behavioural disorders.”

Now, back to you, the homeowner. What can you do to make sure you provide a safe and responsible enivronment for children when it comes to lead?

Make it your legal and moral obligation.

It’s imperative and simple.

How Common Is Lead-Based Paint In Homes?

A Legacy of the Past

Lead-based paint was widely used until its ban in residential properties in 1978.

It’s estimates that 35% of homes in the US have some form of lead-based paint in or on them.

Homes built before this date are likely to have layers of lead paint, putting them at risk.

My home was built hundreds of years ago so I knew it had lead paint going into things. How will you know if you house does?

Try to find out when the home was built and you can probably assume it had lead paint based on that date.

Understanding the prevalence of lead-based paint in older homes is the first step in addressing the issue before putting your property on the market.

sell my home lead paint

Identifying Lead Hazards in Older Homes

Older homes, often characterized by their charm and unique architectural features, can conceal potential lead hazards.

It’s crucial for homeowners to be proactive in identifying these tell-tale signs, whether through visual inspection or professional testing. Knowing the extent of lead paint in your home is fundamental to making informed decisions about its sale. You have to know what you’re working with before you put it up for sale.

Should I Be Worried About Lead Paint Disclosure?

Make It Legal

When selling a home, lead paint disclosure is a legal requirement in most jurisdictions. This involves informing potential buyers about the presence of lead-based paint and providing relevant documentation. While this may seem like a hurdle, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a deal-breaker.

Think about it this way:

It’s the safest bet you can make. Just get the disclosure signed and out there so you are covered – whether you know there is lead paint or have a sneaky suspicion…it’s just worth doing.

The Implications of Lead Disclosure

Understanding the implications of lead disclosure is vital.

While some buyers may be willing to invest in lead abatement and renovations, others may be deterred by the additional responsibilities…or even worse, expect you to fund the bill for those repairs.

And if the buyer has children, all bets are off. They will demand that the home and it’s breahting environment is safe.

However, there is a viable alternative that allows you to sell your home without having to worry about lead paint issues and what it could cost to fix it: selling “as is” to an investor.

Sell Your House Fast For Cash In Pennsylvania

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Is Lead-Based Paint a Deal Breaker?

Buyers’ reactions to lead paint can vary.

Some may be willing to invest in abatement and renovations, while others may shy away from the additional responsibilities.

Others mgiht just decide to take on the risk and live with lead paint.

However, it’s always aboveboard to be forthcoming about lead paint in your home.

sell my house lead paint

Can I Just Paint Over Lead Paint?

Temporary Solutions

While painting over lead paint is a common practice, it is not a permanent solution. Over time, the paint can deteriorate, leading to the release of lead dust and chips. To ensure a safe and lasting solution, exploring other options for lead-based paint removal is advisable.

In my own home, I chose not to bother with painting over lead paint. I knew it could temporarily seal things up, but I opted to not prolong the issue for the next owner of the home. Did this make it easier to sell a house with lead paint? No, not really. But it gave me piece of mind.

What Other Options Exist for Lead-Based Paint Removal?

  1. Lead Abatement: This involves professionally removing or encapsulating lead-based paint to create a lead-safe environment. While effective, it can be costly.
  2. Lead Paint Exterior Removal: Focusing on the exterior of the house, removing lead paint from surfaces can enhance the overall safety of the property.
  3. Identifying Lead Hazards: Conducting a thorough assessment to identify potential lead hazards and addressing them strategically.

Professional Lead Paint Removal Services

Understanding the available professional services for lead paint removal is crucial for homeowners. From hiring certified lead abatement contractors to exploring modern removal technologies, staying informed about these options empowers you to make the best decision for your property.

If going down a path of lead-paint remediation is what you choose to do, my best advice to document all of the work and use a licensed and certified lead abatment contractor. The last thing you want to do is get rid of all of the lead paint and not have the documentation to prove that you are now “lead free”.

Does Lead Paint Lower Property Value?

Navigating the Market

The presence of lead paint can affect the marketability of your property. Some buyers may negotiate for a lower price or demand lead abatement as a condition of sale. However, finding the right buyer eliminates the need for costly renovations and allows you to offload the property without compromising its value.

Selling “As Is” to an Investor

Selling “as is” to an investor specializing in properties with lead paint can be a prudent decision. It can make selling a house with lead paint a walk in the park.


Investors often have the resources and expertise to handle lead abatement, allowing homeowners to sell their properties swiftly and without the financial burden of extensive renovations.

Plus, they also are not deterred by the disclosure or fact therer is lead-paint at all.

Sell Your House Fast For Cash In Pennsylvania

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Working with professional home buyer can be a lifesaver when it comes to selling a house with lead paint.

selling my house with lead paint

Can Kids Live in a House with Lead Paint?

Make It Safe First

Living in a house with lead paint is a concern, especially for families with young children.

Lead poisoning can have severe consequences, so it’s crucial to address this issue before moving forward with a sale.

Temporary Measures

While the process of selling a house is underway, implementing temporary measures to ensure a lead-safe living environment for your family is paramount.

From regular cleaning to minimizing lead dust exposure, taking proactive steps can safeguard the well-being of your loved ones during the transition. Think about zoning off certain walls or areas, creating proper ventalation or even having the children temporarily live somewhere else until the property is sold or the lead is removed. Even the smallest paint chip, peeling paint or lead dust can lead to serious health concerns.

FAQs – Selling a House with Lead Paint

Is it possible to sell a house with lead paint?

Absolutely. Selling “as is” to an investor is a viable option that allows you to pass on the responsibility of lead paint abatement to the buyer.

Will selling a house with lead paint affect my property’s value?

While some buyers may be cautious, selling to an investor mitigates the impact on property value, as they often specialize in such properties.

How can I identify lead hazards in my home?

Don’t be a hero. Hire a professional who can run an assessment and identify lead hazards, helping you understand the extent of the issue and how to address it effectively.

What are the potential health risks of lead paint?

Lead paint exposure can lead to developmental issues, especially in children. Ensuring a lead-safe environment is crucial for the well-being of your family.

How can I find an investor willing to buy a house with lead paint?

Researching and connecting with real estate investors specializing in lead paint properties is a strategic approach. Networking within local real estate circles and utilizing online platforms can help you identify suitable investors for a smooth transaction.

Are there government assistance programs for lead paint removal?

Exploring available government assistance programs for lead paint removal can provide financial support to homeowners. Understanding the eligibility criteria and application process is essential for those seeking financial assistance in addressing lead hazards. If you don’t qualify for assistance, then there are other means for selling a house with lead paint.

The findings and information in this article are focused on Pennsylvania, however, it is applicable in many locations nationwide!

Best Way To Sell A House With Lead Paint

Signature Properties provides the easiest and simplest way to sell your house in Pennsylvania. We buy houses through fair and honest cash offers.🙂 Whether you are avoiding the bank from foreclosure, coming into an inheritance, going through divorce or any other situation – we have real estate solutions to get you the outcomes you desire when you sell your house to us. We help homeowners with costly home repairs, mounting liens, code enforcement violations and even vacant homes. Are you trying to sell your house in surrounding areas or other counties and states near Pennsylvania? We buy properties in New Jersey and Delaware as well as many other towns! In fact, we buy homes all over Pennsylvania. So if you’re selling a house with lead paint and want to be sure you are doing it correctly, then you’re in the right place!