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Selling a House with Asbestos? What to Know

Are you selling a house or thinking of selling a house soon? If your house is older, chances are that it might have a problem with asbestos.  Any house that was built in the 1970s could potentially contain asbestos, and this can be a problem when selling a house because of the dangers.

Selling a house that has asbestos might seem like it’s impossible. However, if you take the correct steps, it’s not going to keep you from selling it. However, you should know that it could make it harder to sell your home, so you want to be prepared for that.

What’s Asbestos

If you have a house that was built prior to 1980, there’s a good chance that it has asbestos materials. This mineral fiber was used commonly because it was flame resistant, durable, and cheap. There’s 6 different asbestos types, including:

  • Chrysotile (this is the most common)
  • Actinolite
  • Amosite
  • Anthophyllite
  • Crocidolite
  • Tremolite

It was used commonly in several home areas, which includes but isn’t limited to:

  • Floor tiles (particularly sheet tiles made of vinyl)
  • Hot water & steam pipes
  • Insulation
  • Roofing, siding, and shingles
  • Textured paints
  • Textured walls

Along with use in the home, it was used in over 3,000 products for consumers in the past.

Selling a Home with Asbestos, What Dangers Does It Cause?

It doesn’t cause any problems unless disturbed or damaged, and this is what often happens while renovations are being done. It also can happen during everyday life. When someone ingests or inhales tiny materials of the fiber, they can have long and short-term problems with their health.

In the shorter term, they can experience abdominal and chest pain and feel short of breath. As time goes by, being exposed repeatedly can lead to things such as asbestosis, issues with lung lining, mesothelioma, and other kinds of cancer.

The majority of people who were exposed got exposure because of their job since it’s found in a lot of industrial and commercial products. Although most of the manufacturers in the US stopped making products that contained it in the 80s, it’s still found in a lot of older homes and buildings.

But you also can be exposed to it through a house containing its mineral dust. You should also keep in mind that as long the place isn’t disturbed or damaged, asbestos may not be dangerous.

Selling a House with Asbestos – How to Know You Have the Problem

To begin with, if the house was built prior to 1980, chances are that it has asbestos in it. The material is disturbed when the home’s renovated. However, it’s really hard to see it using your naked eye.

If you think that you have asbestos in your home, there are handheld devices that are specifically designed for spotting it using spectroscopy. You also can detect it with magnets and lasers using specialized technology.

The problem is that these two options are both expensive, and if you don’t have a lot of material with it you may not want to use this particular approach.

Asbestos Testing

Rather than doing it on your own to figure out if your home has an asbestos problem, you should consider hiring someone to inspect your home. These professionals know the way to determine how bad the problem is and where they should look. The average price for this test is around $490. However, the price can range from $90 to $1,992.

If you believe that you have asbestos in a part of your home, you should avoid that area. You also want to avoid handling or touching any materials that you think has it.

Selling a Home with Asbestos – Can It Be Done?

It’s legal to sell a home that contains asbestos. However, the majority of states have requirements that say you have to disclose it for the sake of the buyer. Here are several ways that this can be approached when selling a home that contains asbestos.

Fix the Problem Before Selling a Home with Asbestos

It could be hard to find someone to buy your house with asbestos in it. However, if you fix your problem before you start selling it, this process could be sped up.

Sometimes, fixing the asbestos can be as simple as sealing it. This binds its fibers together to stop them from breaking off. It also might mean coating it totally to stop it from being released. The professional also might enclose it so that the fibers aren’t released.

The other thing you can do is to completely remove the asbestos. However, this can be very costly, particularly if it’s throughout the house. The options mentioned above can average around $1,985. However, completely removing it can be $10,000 or more.

If you want to do this option, how much you are going to pay to have it repaired or removed is going to depend on the location of the asbestos and the area’s condition. Weigh the repair costs against potential ROI when selling a home.

Disclose the Asbestos & Negotiate Before Selling a House

Even though you have to disclose that asbestos is in the house, it’s not your obligation legally to fix the asbestos. However, you should expect any possible buyers to ask to have the price lowered when they find out that there’s asbestos. It’s possible you are going to spend some time negotiating. Of course, for some buyers, this may be a deal breaker.

If you are thinking about taking this option, get an estimate to have it sealed or contained. This can be used for negotiations, so you’re not dropping your price a lot.

Consider Selling a Home As Is

If your home requires a lot of asbestos removal, it’s a good idea to continue selling the house for cash. If you are interested in doing this, this is something that we can help you with. We are happy to provide you with a fair cash price and we don’t even care if the house has asbestos in it or there are a lot of repairs that need to be done. When you sell your house to us for cash, we give you a no-obligation quote and can tell you what we can do for you. Contact us today.

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