Representing a Seller

Seller’s Property Disclosure

Early disclosure to both buyers and sellers allows everyone plenty of time to learn about radon and act accordingly. Early disclosure builds an atmosphere of trust and encourages an honest exchange among all parties. Problems are much more likely to arise if a radon problem is suspected when the parties are already well into a real estate transaction.

A potential buyer may ask for a new test, depending on the following:

(When a seller has tested the home for radon, test results should be provided to the buyer)

Whether U.S. EPA protocols were followed for the radon measurement test.

The seller has renovated or changed the home since the test was performed.

The buyer intends to occupy a lower level of the home than the seller tested (such as a basement area).

The test was done more than two years ago

When the home has not been tested for radon

If the seller has no knowledge of the home being tested for radon, suggest a test be done immediately by a certified radon professional with a continuous radon monitor. This could save precious time during a real estate transaction. The test device should be placed in the lowest level of the home suitable for occupancy. If the lower level of the home is unfinished, but could be completed in the future and occupied, the test should occur in this portion of the home. Potential buyers may want to know everything the seller knows about any radon tests.

The EPA recommends that a homeowner take action if the indoor radon levels are 4 pCi/l or higher. It is best to correct a radon problem before putting a home on the market, since this allows more time to address the situation. Sellers who have tested their homes and, if necessary, installed radon mitigation systems can demonstrate that they have already recognized and mitigated radon levels for any potential buyer. Having a mitigation system is a marketing plus, especially in areas where elevated radon levels are prevalent.

 A typical home inspection can easily include a radon test upon request. A seller may wish to wait until an inspection is performed during the potential sale of the home, however, if test results are elevated the seller should be prepared to discuss corrective measures before the sale closes


Representing a Buyer

When the home has not been tested for radon

The real estate professional should suggest a radon test be done as soon as possible. It may be done during the normal course of the home inspection, preferably by a third party tester who is certified by Illinois Emergency Management Association (IEMA).

Tests must be properly conducted and interpreted to prevent unnecessary mitigation, but more importantly, to ensure that mitigation is seriously considered when testing indicates unacceptable levels of radon. Certified testers insure that testing was properly performed without inadvertent or deliberate tampering of the test.  You can find certified Radon Measurement Professionals at the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.

When the seller has already tested the home and a seller discloses the presence of radon in the home,

the buyer should request the following information:

When the test was done, EPA recommends that all homes be tested every two years.

Has any major remodeling or structural changes been made to the home since the test was performed? If so, radon levels may have been affected and the house should be retested.

Where was the test device placed in the home? If the seller occupies only the upper level of the home and the test performed on that level, but the home has a basement in which the buyer intends to occupy, the buyer may want to test the home again in the lower level.

If the seller discloses acceptable radon levels in the home (i.e. less than 4 pCi/l), the U.S. EPA would recommend that there is no need for further action. (However, realize there is still some risk associated with levels less than 4 pCi/l.)

Although we tried to provide you with some general information on what radon is, how it enters your home and the health effects of radon, we realize that you may still have a few unanswered questions. For more information on radon, we encourage you to check out these links.

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