Can you Sell a House with Asbestos In SF Bay Area

It’s time to list your property. To get top dollar, you need to spruce things up: fresh paint, landscaping for curb appeal, and maybe new windows for a modern look. But first, consider a home inspection.

If your property is older, watch out for asbestos, a once-common material now known for its danger.

But how did asbestos, with its gargantuan health risk, find its way into your property?

Selling a House with Asbestos in SF Bay Area

Asbestos, a mineral known for its durability and fire resistance, was extensively used in construction materials before the year 2000. It’s derived from Greek, meaning “indestructible” or “inextinguishable”. Its insulation properties earned it the title of the “miracle mineral” back in the early 1900s.

Ancient civilizations like the Greeks and Romans utilized asbestos in their building materials and textiles. There’s speculation that Vestal Virgins utilized it to maintain eternal flames.

Despite its advantageous properties, the Romans recognized the health hazards linked with asbestos. They cautioned against employing asbestos quarry laborers due to their shortened lifespans. Craftsmen and weavers who worked with asbestos dust suffered from documented lung issues.

As Winston Churchill once remarked, “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Similarly, we’ve disregarded the ancients’ warnings regarding asbestos.

Three main types were commonly used in construction: chrysotile (white asbestos) in fireproofing products, brake pads, cement, pipes, plastics, and fabrics; amosite (brown asbestos) in pipe insulation, roofing, ceiling tiles, and cement sheets; and crocidolite (blue asbestos) in spray-on coatings, plastics, pipe insulation, and cement products.

Asbestos fibers were even employed to reinforce concrete, and its heat resistance led to the production of firefighters’ suits in the 1930s.

In summary, real estate constructed or refurbished prior to 2000 likely contains asbestos.

The passing of Nellie Kershaw, a worker in the factory, where she handled asbestos, brought attention to its harmful effects. Her story, shared in a study in the British Medical Journal in 1924, highlighted the dangers of asbestos. However, it wasn’t until the 1970s, almost fifty years later, that the public realized its hazardous nature.

Asbestos poses significant risks when exposed. It’s labeled as a cancer-causing agent and is linked to mesothelioma, a rare cancer affecting the lung, chest, and abdomen linings. Additionally, it heightens the chances of developing lung cancer.

What’s particularly concerning about asbestos exposure is that symptoms may not appear until thirty years later, contributing to its long-term unnoticed dangers.

Dangers of Asbestos Exposure in SF Bay Area

It’s alarming how widespread asbestos was historically, with 90,000 deaths annually worldwide attributed to asbestos-related diseases.

While its use has declined sharply since the 1970s, it’s crucial to note that asbestos isn’t prohibited in the United States. Although regulated by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), its presence in construction has dwindled.

All that remains of its toxic legacy is its presence in aging real estate.

Like numerous property owners, you may believe that selling a property with asbestos would be challenging, but your situation is not unique.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approximates that approximately 107,000 structures in the nation contain asbestos, making it difficult for a buyer to find a property without the potential presence of asbestos. Consequently, there are various options available to address asbestos.

Therefore, if you’re still unsure about selling a property with asbestos, the answer is affirmative, and we are available to guide you through the selling procedure.

Can You Sell a House with Asbestos in SF Bay Area

Know the Legal Requirements for Selling a House with Asbestos

If you think your property may contain asbestos, it’s wise to arrange testing to confirm this, ensuring the buyer can make a well-informed choice later on.

Although DIY testing kits are available for $30-$60 each, it’s generally not recommended to gather samples yourself.

Asbestos fibers pose minimal risk when undisturbed, but once airborne, there’s a danger of inhaling or ingesting them, leading to exposure.

Steps in Selling a House with Asbestos in SF Bay Area

The EPA recommends that a properly trained professional be the one to obtain samples and have it sent to the laboratory for testing.

Disclose the Presence of Asbestos

If the inspection shows positive results and you need to tell potential buyers, stay calm. While some buyers, especially those with kids, may decide not to buy because of this news, typically, having asbestos in your house won’t stop you from selling.

If you’re concerned about your property’s price dropping, don’t worry. There are steps you can take to still get a high price for your property.

Disclose the Presence of Asbestos in SF Bay Area

Before putting your property up for sale on the market, you have two options on how to make your property safer after confirming that asbestos is indeed present in your property: sealing or abating the asbestos.

As noted earlier, asbestos is usually safe if undisturbed. In some cases, it’s best to leave it alone, especially if it’s in good condition like siding or attic insulation. Simply covering it with a sealant can prevent it from releasing harmful fibers into the air, which can cause serious health issues if inhaled.

Sealing, or encapsulating, asbestos involves using a special resin that hardens, creating a barrier that keeps the asbestos contained and prevents it from spreading. Experts agree, as reported by the Washington Post, that encapsulated asbestos is not a danger to health.

By encapsulating asbestos instead of removing it, you save on the costs associated with setup and disposal. Plus, you avoid contaminating the air with dangerous substances.

For instance, if there’s a planned makeover in the property that may disturb asbestos, like replacing popcorn ceilings, then it’s best to opt for asbestos removal.

During asbestos removal, certified pros handle the removal of asbestos and related materials. It’s a risky process, needing careful planning and execution. Naturally, the cost of removal would likely exceed just sealing the asbestos.

You’ll need to evacuate the property with your family while the team, clad in hazmat gear, removes the asbestos. It’ll be some time before you can return safely.

There is another option instead of dealing with the asbestos problem yourself:

You can negotiate with the interested buyer that you’ll offer credit for abatement or remediation costs after you close on the deal.

The best time to perform abatement is before the owner moves in, so you should contact professional asbestos removal companies to obtain a quotation. You can then list your house at market value and offer to take the cost of asbestos removal off the top.

If the buyer is looking to get an FHA loan, there are asbestos requirements that could prevent approval. This strategy works best with a cash buyer.

Sell the Property with Asbestos As-Is

If you lack the time, energy, or funds to deal with asbestos in your property and are okay with selling for less than market value, you may consider selling it as-is.

Addressing the asbestos issue directly could fetch you a higher price for your property. However, the hassle of finding a buyer yourself or through real estate agents, along with managing asbestos removal, may not be worth it.

Moreover, traditional sales involve paying the realtor’s commission, repair costs, staging expenses, and other fees like closing costs.

Sell the Property with Asbestos As-Is in SF Bay Area

A real estate investor can offer you cash for your property promptly, providing a solution for your asbestos-laden property. Many sellers facing asbestos problems opt to sell as-is since they don’t have to cover asbestos removal costs, as investors are prepared to rehabilitate and renovate the property post-closing.


Where Can You Usually Find Asbestos?

Asbestos is common in older homes, often found in roofing, siding, ceilings, paint, insulation, wiring, walls, ducts, flooring, fuse boxes, lights, and outlets.

If you see damaged insulation or crumbling materials, don’t touch them. Instead, reach out to an asbestos expert immediately.

Where Can You Usually Find Asbestos in SF Bay Area

You may be surprised to know that per Federal law, nondisclosure of the presence of asbestos in your property is not illegal. However, most states require the disclosure of asbestos, but they do not require the removal of asbestos in your home.

Even if a state does not require the disclosure of asbestos, it is better to be upfront about the state of your house. You don’t want to open yourself up to a potential lawsuit down the line.

You can guarantee there’s no asbestos left after removal by making sure your removal contractor uses HEPA filter vacuums and wet cleanup gear. It’s the contractor’s job to make sure no asbestos fibers are left on your property.

Once they’re done, they’ll provide a report outlining the work done, disposal details, inspection outcomes, and lab analysis. You need to keep these records to prove to potential buyers that the asbestos issue is fixed.

Costs of asbestos abatement range between $1,123 and $2,872. It can vary depending on the size of the contaminated area, the amount of asbestos that needs to be removed, and the disposal fees.


Sell your property fast with We Buy Houses in SF Bay Area! Worried about selling a house with asbestos? Don’t be! We’ll give you a quick, obligation-free cash offer for your distressed property.

We buy all types of properties, no matter the condition. You won’t have to handle hazardous materials like asbestos or worry about repairs. Our goal is to make selling your property simple, without the hassle of dealing with real estate agents.

Fill out the form below to get started, and we can close in as little as 7 days. You’ll receive the cash offer as promised, and we’ll cover all closing costs. Questions? Call us at (408) 557-7554.

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The Easiest Way To Sell Your House Fast In SF Bay Area

You’re in the driver’s seat when you accept our cash offer for your house. We make the process simple, fast, and easy to follow when working with us. You have no obligation to accept our cash offer for your home when contacting us for a fair cash offer for your home. No matter the reason you want to sell your house, we want to buy your home as is. Remember that you get many benefits that include no real estate agent commissions, no cleaning, no improvements, and no stress. Our cash offer for your as-is house assures you of fast cash payment at closing with a reputable Title company. You can count on our company to give you a fair cash offer for your home! If you’re still thinking, “I need to sell my house fast”, calling us could be your best decision all day. 🙂

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Gagan Saini

Author: Saini

My name is Saini, and I founded the We Buy Houses in SF Bay Area team with years of experience in the real estate industry. I have assisted numerous sellers in selling their homes quickly, “AS-IS”, and for a fair price.

He’s been featured in multiple publications including Yahoo Finance, GoBankingRates, LegalZoom, The Mortgage Report, Apartment Therapy, US News and World Report, and SuperMoney among others.

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