What To Do With Peeling Paint When Selling Your Home

December 09, 2022

If your home was built before 1978, peeling paint may be more than just an aesthetic problem. Discover how to safely remove it before you sell.

If your home was built before 1978, peeling paint may be more than just an aesthetic problem. Before 1978, most homes contained lead-based paint, which has since been linked to a range of health problems, especially in young children. When you see peeling paint in these homes, you should take care of it as soon as possible, whether the peeling paint is lead-based or the paint underneath it. Furthermore, if you're selling a home built before 1978, you should be hyper-aware of peeling paint, as it concerns homebuyer safety and can influence your ability to sell. In this article, we'll explore how peeling paint affects your appraisal and what to do about it.

Does Peeling Paint Affect Appraisal?

Appraisers must note any signs of peeling paint in houses built before 1978, even if you repainted just a few years ago. Even new paint peeling off the wall could contain chips of old lead-based paint or could expose it. For all FHA, USDA, and VA appraisals, these rules stipulate that the homeowner has to remedy the peeling paint issue before the loan can close. They also apply to paint on any structure and material on the property.

How To Get Rid of Peeling Paint

If you want to sell your home and notice peeling paint, the best course of action is to get rid of it before putting it on the market. The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) developed an approved method of scraping the peeling surface and reapplying paint. It looks as follows to ensure you remove all potential instances of lead:

  • After scraping, clean up the paint chips;

  • Wipe down the surrounding surfaces; 

  • Mop the dust.

Depending on the size and location of the peeling paint, you may be able to use a wire brush, or you may want to opt for the combination of a heat gun and a manual paint scraper.

How To Paint Your House Before Selling It

Even if your house was built after 1978, you should still take care of peeling paint before selling it. Fresh, smooth paint gives your home an instant facelift and makes it feel clean for the new buyers. Buyers want to be able to picture themselves in your home, whether they're sleeping in the master bedroom, their kids are playing in the living room, or they're cooking a meal together in the kitchen. If instead, they see chipped, peeling paint, they'll spend the tour picturing themselves with rollers and paint trays, doing the work themselves. A quality gallon of paint typically only costs between $20 and $40, and it's well worth the cost if it ends up helping you close the sale.

If you're considering selling your home in Western Colorado and need further advice handling peeling paint or other renovations and upgrades, I'd be happy to counsel. Get in touch with me, Jennifer Thomas, at 970-209-2378 or jenthomas1515@gmail.com.