LESLIE: John in Washington is on the line and has a question about deteriorated composite siding issue when selling home. Tell us about it.
JOHN: I recently had a real-estate agent come by to talk about selling my house. And they pointed out that I had a siding called LP siding – Louisiana-Pacific siding – self-sealing, supposedly, from the 1990s. And they – it was like a big, red flag, I guess, that people didn’t put any moisture barrier behind it and it was supposed to be self-sealing when it overlapped. And I was wondering if you guys have heard about it. There’s a big recall on it.
TOM: Yeah. The LP siding was famous for its deterioration. It’s a composite type of a siding product and I think it was OK if it was installed perfectly. But the problem is that if you over-nail it and pierce the outside surface, it swells up and it starts to let the water in and it will start to deteriorate. And it does need paint.
I used to joke years ago, when this was going on, that it was OK as long as you painted it every day before you go to work.
LESLIE: That’s a lot of work.
JOHN: Don’t tell me that.
TOM: Because it does really swell. And so, I think your realtor is correct. The deteriorate composite siding is going to be an issue when selling home. You’re going to be dealing with this in the transaction.
What I would tell you to do, John, is before you put your home on the market, I would get a professional home inspection done, as a seller, so that you can find out how the house is going to show in the eyes of a buyer’s home inspector, who will ultimately come in once you have a contract on the place. Because the Louisiana-Pacific issue should be investigated and it should be disclosed. And by disclosing it, you’re not going to have to dance around with any reactions from the buyers now not wanting to buy your place or wanting a big credit as a result.
Get to the bottom of it, get to the facts and get it from a professional. And this way, when buyers are looking at it, you can start the conversation with: “Yes, I know we have LP siding. There’s been concerns about it. It has not leaked. We don’t intend to replace it and I just want to make it clear, right now, before you have an inspector come in and tell you that it needs to be replaced. We’ve been following it. Here’s the information on it and I’m kind of putting that on the table.”
So by identifying it early on, you’re not going to have to negotiate later. Because what ends up happening in situations like this is you go down as low as you can in the price, buyer is paying as much as they can on the price and then you find a major problem, the whole deal falls apart. So I’m trying to protect you from that happening.
JOHN: That’s good advice. Now, do I go ahead – and should I paint it or – I mean it needs to be painted, right?
JOHN: Yeah, OK.
TOM: If it’s not structurally deteriorated – that’s why I say get a home inspector on it to take a look at it first and find out about not only the siding issue when selling home – but look, you’re going to pay one price for the inspector to come out.
TOM: Let him do the whole house and find out what’s going on.
JOHN: Yeah, OK.
TOM: And this way, you can either disclose it or repair it at your option, at your leisure, instead of while a buyer is kind of looking over your shoulder at everything you do. You know what I mean?
JOHN: I see. OK, OK. Yeah, that’s good advice. I hadn’t thought about that. I was in a hurry to get a painter in but maybe I should …
TOM: Hmm. Slow down. Slow down a little bit.
JOHN: OK. OK.
TOM: Yeah, get the advice. It won’t take you long to schedule a home inspection. Then you’ll have a better idea what you’re doing with this siding issue when selling home.
Go to the website for the American Society of Home Inspectors. It’s HomeInspector.org. And you could find an ASHI-certified home inspector there. That will be your best place to start.
JOHN: Is that pretty expensive?
TOM: Probably $300 or $400. Well worth it.
JOHN: Oh, that’s not bad. OK.
JOHN: Yeah. Yeah, good. Thank you. That’s a good idea. I’m really – I’m glad I called. Thank you.