can you sell a house with lead paint

How Can You Sell a House with Lead Paint in California?

Can you sell a house with lead paint, though? We’ll dig into more detail shortly, but yes, it’s possible.

We that, in California especially, lead poisoning is a significant concern in the real estate landscape.

People naturally think that the presence of lead-based paint in the home might automatically lead to health problems. And, if you’re looking to sell your home, you need to let the buyer know about its presence.

But worry not! Understanding the rules and smart selling tricks can help sell your house with lead paint while following the law and making buyers feel better.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. We are not experts in legal matters, and readers are encouraged to seek the proper professional legal counsel for specific guidance.

Can You Sell a House With Lead Paint?

Selling a house with lead-based paint is possible, but it involves legal and ethical considerations. In California, sellers must disclose lead-based paint hazards to buyers. But remember, having lead-based paint might lower the value of your home and means you need to follow certain rules when selling it.

Note that homes that contain lead paint are often seen as something to avoid, but the danger isn’t as bad as you’d might think, and we wouldn’t classify them as condemned homes. For instance, you’d need to ingest the paint through the mouth for it to cause serious health concerns.

Naturally, old paint can flake off, and young children and pets won’t always be able to identify toxic substances like lead paint, which is where the danger predominantly lies.

Additional reading: Can you sell a condemned house

How to Sell a Home With Lead Paint in California

Selling a home with lead-based paint in California is a big deal. Home sellers facing this situation typically weigh their options to ensure a smooth transaction while meeting disclosure requirements.

Here are two primary strategies sellers often consider:

  • Sell your home as-is
  • Remove the lead paint before selling

Option 1: Selling a Home With Lead Paint As-Is

Selling a home with lead-based paint “as-is” presents advantages and challenges for sellers navigating this situation. 

Before going down this road, it’s important to understand the risks and benefits and what exactly needs to be done when you sell distressed property.


  • Simplified Process: Selling the house as-is makes the whole selling thing easier. You won’t have to do much repair work or worry about getting rid of the lead-based paint.
  • Reduced Costs: Sellers can avoid the expenses associated with lead-based paint remediation.
  • Attracting Investors: This way of selling might catch the eye of investors or buyers looking for cheaper homes they can repair and fix up themselves.


  • Limited Buyer Pool: Selling a home with lead-based paint as-is might deter certain buyers due to concerns about lead exposure or the cost of renovation.
  • Lower Market Value: Homes with known lead-based paint usually sell for less money than those without it.
  • Disclosure Requirements: Sellers must comply with legal obligations to disclose known lead-based paint hazards, which might make some buyers less interested. 

Steps to Sell As-Is:

Selling a property as-is, especially one affected by lead paint, requires a strategic approach to navigate legal requirements and buyer expectations.

These steps will help you sell the house honestly and by the book while dealing with the lead-based paint issue:

1. Assessment and Inspection

Getting your home tested for lead-based paint is vital.

Engage certified professionals to conduct a thorough assessment to perform a lead test and determine the extent of the issue. Note that these inspectors must be state-certified in California. 

If your home was built before 1978, there is a chance your home will contain this poisonous substance.

2. Disclosure Compliance

As per federal law, you MUST create a lead-paint “disclosure statement”, with further specific requirements being:

  • Sellers MUST disclose what you know regarding the hazardous paint
  • Copies of inspection reports must be provided
  • The statement must be in sales contracts and leasing agreements
  • Signed copies of the statement must be kept for 3 years
  • Provide the buyer/tenant with a Protect Your Family From Lead in Your Home document.

3. Strategic Marketing Approach

Craft your property listings with utmost accuracy, clearly stating that the property is being sold as-is due to the presence of lead paint.

Highlight any positive attributes of the property while transparently addressing the lead paint issue.

4. Deciding on Who to Sell to

Consider your options carefully when choosing the entity or individuals to sell your property to. Real estate investment companies, individual investors, or other homeowners could be potential buyers for a property sold as-is.

As you weigh your options for selling a house as-is in California, consider selling to SoCal Home Buyers. We specialize in purchasing homes in various conditions, including those impacted by lead paint. 

Our team offers a hassle-free selling experience. Contact us today to explore your selling options with a trusted real estate investment company.

5. Consider Professional Assistance

Seek guidance from experienced real estate agents or consultants familiar with selling properties with lead paint.

Their expertise can be invaluable in navigating the complexities of disclosure requirements and negotiating with potential buyers.

6. Preparing for Buyer Negotiations

Anticipate buyer concerns about the lead paint issue and be prepared to negotiate, but your agent should be able to take on this task for you, if you’ve appointed one.

This may involve discussing adjusting the selling price or offering flexible terms to accommodate the necessary renovations or remediation.

Option 2: Removing Lead Paint Before Selling

Choosing to remove lead paint from homes built prior to 1978 is a smart move, especially if the paint has started to chip off. It could make your home worth more and get more people interested in buying the property. 

However, this strategy requires careful consideration of its advantages and challenges and a clear understanding of the steps involved in the process.


  • Enhanced Property Value: Getting rid of lead paint can make your place more attractive to buyers, possibly increasing its value and getting you a better price.
  • Expanded Buyer Pool: Having a lead-free home may appeal to more prospective buyers, especially those worried about their health, families with young children, and folks wanting a home they can move right into.
  • Streamlined Sales Process: Dealing with the lead paint upfront means less worry for buyers, making the selling process smoother and quicker.


  • Cost Consideration: Removing lead paint can cost a lot, depending on how much needs to go and how big your place is.
  • Time Investment: Getting rid of lead paint isn’t a quick job. It might take time, delaying when you can put your place up for sale.
  • Unforeseen Issues: During the removal process, unforeseen challenges might arise, potentially increasing costs or causing unexpected delays.

Steps to Removing Lead Paint Before Selling:

1. Lead Paint Inspection

Professionals who are experienced in lead paint assessment should examine the property meticulously.

These certified experts will carefully go through your whole place, finding exactly where the lead paint is and how much of an issue it is. This step serves as the crucial foundation for subsequent removal planning.

2. Engage With Qualified Contractors

Carefully select contractors renowned for their specialization in lead paint removal.

Prioritize those who hold relevant certifications and demonstrate adherence to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines for the safe and efficient elimination of lead-based paint.

This way, you’ll be sure the removal process is safe and done properly.

3. Develop a Comprehensive Removal Plan

Collaborate closely with the chosen contractors to craft a detailed and fool proof plan encompassing every facet of lead paint removal.

They’ll outline the containment strategies, the removal techniques, and how they’ll dispose of everything safely.

4. Remove the Paint

Entrust the approved contractors to execute the meticulously crafted removal plan, prioritizing the safety of all occupants and workers involved.

This intricate phase encompasses stringent containment procedures, precise removal methods employing specialized equipment, and thorough post-removal clean up to ensure a completely lead-free environment.

5. Reassessment and Rigorous Clearance Testing

Post-removal, you’ll need to carry out further testing to ensure all the paint has been removed.

This phase validates the successful eradication of lead paint hazards, ensuring the property meets stringent safety standards and is free from any remnants of lead-based paint.

Do you have to disclose lead paint when selling a house?

A seller must, however, give buyers 10 days to inspect the property for lead. Nothing in the rule requires an owner to remove lead-based paint or lead hazards from the property. 

Despite successful removal, comply with California’s legal obligations mandating disclosure of the property’s previous history of lead paint.

This transparent communication aligns with legal requirements and maintains transparency with potential buyers, even after successful removal.

Want to Avoid the Stress of Selling a House With Lead Paint?

As you can see, selling a house with lead paint can be a real headache. 

If you’re seeking a hassle-free selling experience for your property affected by lead paint in California, SoCal Home Buyers is here to help. 

We specialize in purchasing homes in various conditions, including those impacted by lead paint, providing fair offers and a seamless selling process to those selling a house to a cash buyer

We’ll make you a fair offer and guide you through a stress-free selling process. Get in touch with us for a smoother and hassle-free experience.

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