When buying or selling a home, many people are unaware of a crucial factor that comes with the age of the home: Lead Paint. If the property you’re putting on the market, or interested in seeing was built prior to 1978, there is a good chance that lead paint is present in some areas, if not throughout the entirety of the home. As one of the only disclosures that is federally mandated, having lead paint can pose some challenges in your real estate journey.

Understanding the Impact of Lead Paint in Homes

What makes lead paint so dangerous? Lead is a toxic substance that can drastically affect any and all organs in the body, leading to complex health issues. Prior to 1978, lead was often used to make paint used to add a splash of color to the interior and exteriors of homes. If you have a young family, lead is especially harmful to children six years of age or younger due to their itch to explore and consume things. Many people consider simply painting over it with modern paint to alleviate the issue, this however, is not the case at all. Even if you paint over the lead paint, the risk is not eliminated. It can still vaporize and be inhaled through non-lead-based paints.

Selling a Property that has Lead Paint

If you are in the process of selling your home, and you know it was built prior to 1978, there are some important things you need to understand before listing the property for sale:

  1. Any and all known information regarding the presence of lead paint in the property must be disclosed, as mandated by federal law.
  2. You are not legally required to test for lead-based paint in your home.
  3. Potential buyers have up to ten days to conduct a lead paint test unless any other time period is mutually agreed upon.
  4. If you are selling property in Massachusetts, the new owners must receive a Property Transfer Lead Paint Notification and Certification
  5. For most other states buyers must receive the pamphlet, Protect Your Family from Lead in the Home. Be sure to have a full understanding of the lead paint requirements and regulations in your state.
  6. Be sure to hire an expert real estate attorney when selling your home, as they can assist you in navigating any legal matters regarding your sale, not just lead paint!
  7. Relying on your trusted local REALTOR® to provide you with the most up-to-date information regarding lead paint will only help you in your home sale.


Addressing Buyer Concerns

The concept of lead paint is frightening for many prospective home buyers, especially for those purchasing property for the very first time. If you have your eyes set on a home built before 1978, it’s crucial to understand exactly what you’re getting yourself into. First, do not underestimate the importance of specifying lead paint testing during your negotiations. Testing the home for lead paint protects you, any guests, pets, and especially young children against the possibility of lead poisoning. As mentioned over, it is federal law that the Property Transfer Lead Paint Notification must be presented before the sale of a home if it was built before 1978. Be sure to do your research and consult with your real estate agent and attorney. It is so important to fully understand the disclosure, the possible risks, and any responsibilities you may have as a buyer.

Investing in real estate is a huge financial endeavor, and many buyers may worry if their initial deposit still protected if they decide to test, lead is found, and are no longer interested in the property. This all depends on the way the real estate contract is structured. Definitely be sure that you consult with your real estate agent, so that you fully understand the timeframe you have to decide if you are going to move forward with the sale or not.

Deleading Options and Resources

If you’re in the situation where you need to remove lead paint from your property, there are a variety of options and resources available nationwide. Federal assistance programs, such as those offered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (otherwise known as HUD), can potentially provide a grant or loan to eligible homeowners, and many states offer their own deleading assistance programs and resources. Homeowners can also consider private financing options from banks and credit unions or weigh the benefits of DIY versus professional lead removal services. Explore any community resources and advocacy groups that may be available in your area. These options can offer additional support and guidance throughout the deleading process, empowering homeowners to create safer living environments for their families by addressing lead paint hazards effectively and responsibly.

State-Specific Resources and Regulations

Massachusetts: The state of Massachusetts offers some financial assistance when it comes to deleading your home. These include credits and different types of loans to assist with the removal of the toxic paint. for more information on various options and which would best fit your needs, visit the Mass.gov website.

New Hampshire: The state of New Hampshire has a whole page dedicated to lead paint information including info for property owners and landlords, info about state rules and regulations, and more.

Connecticut: For those living in Connecticut, there is plenty of information regarding lead paint laws and regulations on Connecticut.gov!

Rhode Island: The Rhode Island Department of Health has several online resources regarding lead paint, from Lead Paint Information for Homeowners, Safely Repairing and Renovating with Lead Paint, and more!

Maine: In Maine, landlords are required to provide certain disclosures to their tenants about lead paint. 

Florida: For residents of Florida, the Floridahealth.gov website offers a ton of information regarding lead poisoning and other prevention tips.  In 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) passed a rule called the Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Rule requiring firms to use EPA-approved training providers and follow lead-safe work practices when having work done.

Frequently Asked Lead Paint Questions from Homeowners:

What is my obligation/responsibility if lead paint is found?

If a child under the age of 6 is living in the home, the property must be brought into compliance.

If we decide to not have the test performed, can we do so at a later date?

Yes, you can have a lead paint test performed at any point in time once you take ownership of a property.

Lamacchia Realty Can Help You Navigate the Complexities of Lead Paint in a Home!

The presence of lead paint in homes before 1978 pose significant health risks and legal considerations for both sellers and buyers alike. Having a comprehensive understanding of the impact of lead paint, voicing your concerns to your trusted real estate team, and exploring deleading options are essential steps in ensuring a safe and seamless real estate transaction. With the guidance of reliable real estate experts, such as our dedicated Lamacchia Realty REALTORS®, navigating these complexities can become more manageable and less stressful. Whether you’re selling or buying, consulting with one of our real estate experts will provide you with the most up-to-date information and support throughout your journey. Take the first step towards a safer and smoother real estate experience by discovering your local Lamacchia Realty office, and reaching out to one of our knowledgeable REALTORS® today.