How to Improve Your Property’s Resale Value by Lead Testing

How Testing Can Lead to a Better Sale

Getting a building ready to sell is no small task. But before you can start staging your property it’s important to determine its value.

Condition, location, acreage, size and a number of other factors go into determining how much your building will go for on the market.

If you’re buying or selling a property built before 1978, it’s crucial that you consider how lead-based paint could impact the cost. For instance, a family with young children may not be willing to spend as much on a building with lead-based paint knowing they will have to handle the remediation themselves. Commercial properties could also drop in value, with business owners knowing the workplace regulations for lead exposure.

It’s up to the seller to decide whether or not they want to test for lead ahead of the sale. The buyer will get the chance to once they decide they are interested in the property but could back out upon discovering the hazardous material.

One thing you cannot do is hide the fact you have lead-based paint. Real estate agents, property sellers and landlords are all required to disclose that there is lead risk at the property and provide information about identifying and controlling lead.

Worried about how this will impact your sales prospects? Get ahead of the problem and create a property that is safe and sellable.

Improving Resale Value With Lead Remediation

Research was conducted using housing data from Charlotte, North Carolina to quantify the value of remediating lead issues in a home. According to the study, for every dollar spent on removing lead from an older home, there was $2.60 generated in benefits.

The study explains that homes with lead remediation saw a 32% higher value than houses that still contained lead. On average this equaled about an additional $26,270 more in home value.

Neighborhoods with lead remediation also showed better housing stability and less turnover. The study says this could be due to existing residents having a higher desire to stay in a lead remediated home or because families buying these houses are the kind of households that are more likely to stay in a home for longer periods of time.

What is Your Role in Lead Disclosures?

Property Managers or Landlords

Do you manage or lease a property? Whether it’s commercial or residential you need to be aware of what hazards are lurking in your building.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, if you are renting out a home or multi-family dwelling with lead-based paint you must provide your tenants with:

  • The EPA’s lead protection pamphlet.
  • Any available information about the lead in the building. Such as, lead testing results.
  • A lead disclosure and “Lead Warning Statement” that is within or attached to the lease.

Real Estate Agents

If you’ve been tasked with selling a home or other building you must ensure potential buyers are aware of lead hazards before they sign a contract for the house.

You have to alert the seller of their responsibilities to disclose lead, verify that the buyers are given lead protection information, include a “Lead Warning Statement” in the contract and ensure there is a 10-day period for the potential buyer to inspect the paint.

If the home is for sale by owner these tasks will fall onto the owner instead.

Buyers or Renters

The EPA encourages people looking to purchase or lease a property to know their rights. If the building was constructed before 1978 there is a chance it contains lead-based paint that could cause negative health impacts.

This is especially important if your property will be frequented by small children or if you are planning renovations that could cause lead-based paint dust to spread significantly.

If you are not provided with the disclosures and information listed above it is important to inquire further about them or consider a different property.

Frequently Asked Questions about Lead and Property Values

What is the penalty for not disclosing lead?

According to Cornell’s Legal Information Institute, the penalty for failing to disclose lead-based paint hazards is a maximum of $21,018 for each violation.

Do all buildings constructed pre-1978 have lead?

Some buildings built before 1978 will have already had lead remediation. With the exception of those structures, the Virginia Department of Health says most buildings built prior to 1978 will have lead paint.

Will people still buy houses with lead-based paint in them?

Yes, but as a seller you are required to provide a lead based paint disclosure.

Who is at risk from lead?

Infants and children are at the most risk from exposure to lead. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that kids can suffer brain damage, nervous system issues, delayed development, learning complications, behavior issues, hearing problems and speech troubles.

Not only is there no safe blood lead level for children, they are also most likely to come into contact with lead. Kids are more prone to touching, swallowing or breathing in lead or lead dust.

Who can remove the lead safely?

If you have lead paint that you need safely eliminated from your home it’s best to call a professional. Ensure the contractor you hire is lead-certified. They should have a certification from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Renovation, Repair, and Painting program.

Are you required to test for lead?

The seller does not have to test for lead. However, homebuyers must be given a 10-day period to have lead testing or risk assessments done before they finalize the sale.

Why should you test for lead?

Lead testing is crucial because it protects children and adults from exposure to dangerous lead levels. It can prevent kids from developing long term medical issues.

How does lead testing work?

You can test for lead by using a specialty kit, x-ray fluorescence and paint chip sampling. EHS provides lead testing kits all over the country and has a state-of-the-art lab to examine samples in Richmond, Va.

Who pays for the lead inspection?

The home buyer is responsible for covering the costs of lead testing. The seller just needs to ensure they have the 10-day period to conduct testing.

What are temporary fixes for lead paint?

Instead of complete deleading, there are ways to provide quick but temporary fixes for urgent lead problems. These solutions are called interim control.

According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, you can abate lead by:

  • Paint stabilization
  • Making surfaces smooth and cleanable
  • Fixing friction or impact that is creating lead dust
  • Treating bare soil
  • Using safe treatments

What is lead paint encapsulation?

Lead paint encapsulation is coating of lead based paint with a liquid  designed to create a sturdy barrier.

How can I pay for lead removal/deleading?

When considering the purchase of a property built before 1978 you should budget for possible lead-based paint removal. You should also see if you are eligible for the federal tax credit for taxpayers who remove lead-based hazards or any state tax credits.

Efficient Lead Testing for Informed Property Purchasing

Don’t wait to find out that the paint inside your building is dangerous. Outdated lead-based paint can chip and crumble, spreading harmful dust into the air.

Get ahead of lead with accurate and fast testing services. EHS has the lab capabilities to identify lead dust and paint in your home or business.

You can test ahead of selling and make fixes to up your property value or test ahead of buying so you know where your dollar is going. Contact us today for environmental testing supplies and services designed to keep you safe.