The process of selling (or buying) a home is a long and potentially nerve-wracking process. Not only is there the inevitable packing and cleaning, but the process of vetting and potentially remedying defects of a home can draw out the sale and put sellers in hot water if they fail to disclose. It’s important for sellers to understand what requirements they have to identify and disclose hazardous materials like asbestos, lead, and mold when selling a home, as well as what to expect from potential buyers.
Who Has to Disclose Information on Hazardous Materials?
In Massachusetts, seller have to disclose some specific things to buyers. And while disclosure of certain materials or defects is required, many others fall under the term “caveat emptor” or “buyer beware,” where they only have to disclose information if it is requested by the buyer. However, real estate agents and brokers have a higher responsibility, having to voluntarily disclose any facts to buyers that would influence the purchase of a home.
MA Disclosure Laws Concerning Asbestos, Lead Paint, and Mold
Asbestos, lead paint, and mold are three major hazards in a home and can impact the selling or buying of a home. As a general rule of thumb, if you are aware of asbestos in a home, you should disclose it in any disclosure agreement and consult with removal specialists for the cost for abatement.
- Asbestos in Homes: In Massachusetts, there’s no requirement to check if a home has asbestos in it before the sale. However, with older homes there’s an increased risk of asbestos. Since asbestos will be disturbed with any home remodeling or demolition, if you’re aware of asbestos you should include it in the disclosure agreement along with its condition.
- Lead Paint in Homes: You or your real estate agent must notify buyers of the presence of lead paint if your home was built before 1978 (it’s part of the “Property Transfer Notification Certification”). Failure to disclose and use this certification can lead to penalty fines of up to $1000 as well as paying other damages to the buyer.
- Mold in Homes: In Massachusetts, the presence of mold constitutes a “property detect” and must be disclosed to a buyer before purchase. In many cases, it’s less expensive to deal with the issue than wait for potential fallout if they hire a home inspector. Check out our other blog, Can You Sell a Home Containing Mold? for more details.
If you’re uncertain if you’ve got any of these hazardous materials in your home or if you want a professional inspection to assess the damage, it’s important to contract a professional inspection. Fiber Control, Inc. can help you not only find these hazardous materials in your home, but also properly remove or make safe asbestos, lead paint, and mold. Contact us today to get started.