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Can You Sell a House with Asbestos?

Can You Sell a House with Asbestos

Was your home built before 1990? If you haven’t done any work to it, chances are those old floor tiles, popcorn ceilings, and roof shingles contain asbestos. This fibrous, heat-resistant material was once incredibly popular. Manufacturers wove it into fabrics and used it in insulating materials without restraint.

Unfortunately, in the 1970s, concerns began to arise about the safety of asbestos. It became apparent that breathing in asbestos particles could cause lung inflammation and scarring, breathing problems, and eventually, lung cancer. Because of these health concerns, most asbestos products were banned in the US in 1989. Still, homes and businesses were not required to remove existing asbestos, so your older home could very well have it.

What if you want to move? Can you sell a house with asbestos? Here are your options.

Identifying & Testing for Asbestos

When selling an older home, it’s important to have it tested for asbestos. Otherwise, a general home inspector might list “asbestos-like material” on the inspection report. The only way to identify asbestos with complete confidence is to examine it under a specialized microscope. To do this, an EPA-certified contractor collects a sample and sends it to an EPA-certified lab for examination.

If the test comes back positive, rest assured that yes, it’s legal to sell a home with asbestos. You simply have two choices: disclose the problem or remove the asbestos before listing your home for sale.

Disclosing the Problem to Potential Buyers

Depending on where you live, you may be legally obligated to disclose the presence of asbestos to homebuyers. If you don’t, the buyer has grounds to sue you for damages later on. Even if you’re not required to disclose it, the potential legal ramifications aren’t worth keeping the information a secret.

Don’t assume that finding asbestos destroys your chance of selling your home. As long as the material is left undisturbed and in good condition, it poses no health threat. If the buyer doesn’t plan to renovate anytime soon, they may not care too much about the asbestos insulation in the attic.

Just know that a buyer has the right to walk away from an offer if they learn that the home has asbestos. They might also request a credit for abatement services or ask you to lower the price.

Removing or Containing Asbestos

Depending on where the asbestos is located, you might decide to remove or contain it. The cost to remove asbestos varies based on where it’s located and how much there is. Containment typically costs 15 to 20 percent less because you don’t have to pay disposal fees.

If you decide to remove or contain the asbestos in your home before you sell it, you need help from an EPA-certified contractor like DKI. Our asbestos cleanup company is licensed and insured to handle situations just like yours. We’ll mitigate the safety issue so you can sell your home with confidence. Give us a call at 877-533-0210 or contact us online to schedule asbestos abatement today.