Selling Your Home with Radon: A Guide to Inspections, Disclosures, and More

Discovering radon contamination in your home as you prepare to sell can spark stressful questions. How will radon impact your sale? What if buyers test and walk away? Does fixing radon before listing raise your home’s value? Let’s demystify radon’s role in real estate transactions with tips for testing, disclosures, mitigation, and even leveraging radon remediation to your advantage.

Understanding Buyer Mindsets on Radon

In today’s competitive housing market, buyers scrutinize homes carefully looking for any red flags that could compromise health or require extra costs post-purchase. Radon tops many buyers’ watch lists, especially in regions like Colorado where radon occurrence is prevalent.

While radon mitigation systems are common features that buyers expect, elevated radon levels detected during inspection can still thwart deals and lead to renegotiation requests. Buyers simply don’t want to acquire expensive radon issues along with their new home. Even the perception of health risks from radon can erode buyer confidence regardless of actual hazard levels.

That’s why sellers should prioritize radon testing and remediation from the start. Taking proactive steps to address radon professionally signals to buyers you have their wellbeing as a top concern.

Prelisting Radon Testing Protocol

Ideally test for radon near the start of your home listing preparations. This allows time for retesting and potential mitigation system installation well before home showings begin.

Follow established radon testing guidelines:

  • Use certified long-term radon test kits placed in the home’s lowest livable level for a minimum 48 hours.
  • Keep windows closed and avoid operating fans or appliances that could skew results.
  • After testing, have the lab analyze and report your radon level in picocuries per liter (pCi/L).
  • If results exceed 4 pCi/L, conduct a follow up long-term test for confirmation.
  • Retest after fixing any issues to confirm radon is below 4 pCi/L threshold.

Document all testing details, procedures, dates, and lab results to share with buyers during disclosures.

Deciding Whether to Mitigate Before Listing

If testing reveals radon exceeding 4 pCi/L, is fixing it before listing worthwhile? Consider a few key factors:

  • Mitigation costs typically range $800-$2500 depending on home size and scope of work needed.
  • Remediating radon beforehand avoids contingency delays and renegotiations during sale.
  • It prevents losing potential buyers concerned over health risks.
  • Proactive mitigation can increase perceived home value to buyers.
  • Fixed price discounts may still emerge as negotiating points.
  • Deferred mitigation risks continued radon exposure for occupants.

Weigh costs against benefits, but keep health first. Mitigation also makes your home more marketable.

Selecting Certified Radon Mitigation Professionals

Seeking qualified radon mitigation contractors is critical to ensure proper system design and installation for effectively lowering radon. Verify technicians hold National Radon Proficiency Program (NRPP) or National Radon Safety Board (NRSB) certification. Openly communicate your timeline for completing radon mitigation prior to listing your home.

Avoid amateurs and rogue contractors making unsupported claims. Check references and reviews. Get guaranteed warranty on parts and labor. This protects against shoddy work that could fail inspection.

Meeting Disclosure Requirements

Most states and real estate purchase contracts require disclosing known radon concentrations along with mitigation system details. Prepare a report fully documenting:

  • Background like testing procedures, dates, equipment used
  • Specific numeric radon levels in pCi/L for all tests
  • Retesting results after mitigation showing reduced radon
  • Mitigation system installation date and components
  • Service records proving proper maintenance
  • Contact information for the mitigation company

Providing professional documentation upfront builds trust with buyers rather than hiding issues that will inevitably surface. Truthful transparency regarding radon gives you credibility.

Facilitating Radon Inspections

Offer to personally educate potential buyers about your home’s radon testing and mitigation history. Walk them through the mitigation system components and share written background reports. Radon education eases concerns surrounding this commonly misunderstood issue.

When buyers arrange independent inspection of your mitigation system, freely cooperate with inspectors to validate its performance. This openness further radiates confidence. In most cases, a properly designed and tested mitigation system will readily pass inspection.

Preparing to discuss any needed repairs or further mitigation if the buyer’s inspector identifies deficiencies is also wise. Having a plan for quickly addressing concerns prevents deal delays.

Negotiating on Radon

Despite diligent testing and disclosure, some buyers may still press for price concessions and radon credit requests during negotiations. Several responses can help counter excessive concessions while keeping the deal intact:

  • Emphasize all documentation proving low radon levels after remediation.
  • Offer free annual inspections to ease lingering worries over time.
  • Note comparable home values with functioning mitigation systems.
  • Propose a mutually agreeable credited closing cost compromise to satisfy the buyer’s perception of risk without undercutting market value.
  • As a last resort, offer coverage of reasonable future mitigation expenses upon evidence of system failure.

Stay solution-oriented, but don’t cave too quickly on price. Leverage documentation validating your radon due diligence.

Turning Radon Remediation Into a Selling Point

Instead of downplaying radon, make your testing and mitigation efforts and investment a selling advantage. Prominently convey your commitment to safety and concern for buyers’ wellbeing.

Create an informational sheet for buyers explaining the extensive care taken addressing radon properly in your home. Describe added peace of mind from comprehensive radon protection compared to houses lacking vigilance.

Your property also offers the benefit of recently installed full-scale radon mitigation at your expense that buyers don’t face replacing for years to come. Spotlight radon remedies to win buyers rather than seeing radon purely as a liability.

With proper diligence and transparency, radon does not have to impede home sales. Lean into education and communication with buyers to ease worries. Take control of this issue early and point to radon solutions as proof of your dedication to health and home quality. The results can pay off greatly down to the home inspection wire.

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