Do You Really Need That Radon Test?

By
Real Estate Agent with Evers & Company Real Estate, Inc. AB95346

The particles are tiny, and sub-micrscopic that can creep into houses.  And they are generally considered to be not good for your lungs. 

One of the contingencies in our local boiler plate contracts allows the buyers, if they choose, a few days to have a radon test done.  If they find radon, the buyers can ask the sellers to get rid of it.  If the sellers say no, the buyers have the option to walk away from the deal.

In this area, there's a fair amount of radon.  And only about half of the offers that I write have radon contingencies.  If you're buying a home, should you include the radon clause or skip it?

At yesterday's office meeting, John Swett of Radon Abatement Services here in DC gave a great presentation that made me take the whole radon thing a bit more seriously.

Whether or not you include the contingency in your offer should depend on whether you are the only offer on the table or in a multiple offer situation.  If you're the only offer, I'd say include the contignecy.  In a multiple situation, you may want as few contingencies as possible and decide to leave it off.

What are the consequences of omitting the radon clause?  If you do find radon later, you and not the seller will wind up paying for the remediation.  And according to John Swett, in the DC area (at least his firm) charge between $800 and $1200 to do the job. 

And while you may not really need the contingency, you really do need a test if you are buying in the DC Metro area.

And here are some pointers:

  • Never hire a radon remediation company to do your testing. 
  • If they find enough to warrent treatment, do not rely on the remediation company's test results - have them confirmed by an independent test.
  • Never rely on the seller's test result from when they bought the house.  The results can vary depending on factors like the season of the year and the amount of recent rain or snowfall when the test was run.

For more information on radon, you can check out the EPA's Citizen's Guide to Radon.

 

 

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Topic:
Home Buying
Location:
District of Columbia District of Columbia County Washington
Groups:
Diary of a Realtor
Realtors®
Tags:
radon testing

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Ambassador
1,652,603
Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi
Palm Harbor Florida Residential Real Estate
Charles Rutenberg Realty

Pat - We have a clause in the state contracts that inform the client about radon gas and let them know that they can do testing if they so desire. I have never had a client ask for the testing to be done.

July 28, 2011 10:18 AM
Rainmaker
325,607
Shannon Milligan, Richmond VA Real Estate Agent
RVA Home Team - Winning with Integrity.
RVA Home Team with Jefferson Properties

Such an important test and yet so many ignore it. We had our home tested here in Richmond and it came back at 13!

July 28, 2011 10:57 AM
Rainmaker
1,758,109
Roy Kelley
Retired Real Estate Broker, Maryland Blogger

Good post.  Maryland home buyers should certainly opt for radon tests. Remediation will always solve the problem and every owner should want to know if they have a radon issue that needs a cure.

I posted your blog on my Facebook page.

 Life is good!

July 28, 2011 01:55 PM
Rainmaker
1,364,723
Tom Braatz
Waukesha County Realtor Real Estate agent,Waukesha
Re/Max Realty Center 262-377-1459

Pat

Radon is real seriuos in my parts. Good blog post and info here.

July 28, 2011 10:23 PM
Rainmaker
508,706
Wayne Johnson
San Antonio REALTOR, San Antonio Homes For Sale
Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper REALTORS®

Pat-I remember radon was a pretty standard test in real estate transactions in MO, but I guess the geological einvironment doesn't require it here. I do recall some people relocating here from other parts of the country ask about radon testing.

July 28, 2011 11:15 PM
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Patricia Kennedy

For Your Home in the Capital
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Additional Information

Pat Kennedy -- author of The Irreverent Guide to Real Estate -- gives you a look at life on the streets as a real estate broker in our nation's capital. And her blog is peppered with great advice combined with humor!