The Home You Will Buy Will Have Radon.

Between five and ten percent of Wisconsin homes have radon levels above the US EPA guideline of 4 pCi/L for an annual average on the main floor. Every region of Wisconsin has some homes with elevated radon levels. radon testing central Racine County

Testing and scientific research are complete; the results are indisputable; radon gas is deadly and everywhere. The house you will buy will have a level of radon gas. The Environmental Protection Agency has not set a SAFE standard for gas we breathe. However, the EPA does advise we test our homes over an extended period (three months and longer) to determine a more accurate reading of our exposure. The residential real estate transaction process is not well suited for long term testing of anything. A short term radon test done in 48 hours is an alternative the Wisconsin Residential Offer to Purchase provides to the consumer. It’s not the false sense of danger that short-term testing results are likely to trigger that concerns me; it’s the false sense of security homeowners walk away with when the test shows a radon level below the EPA’s action level 4 picocuries per liter. 

Don’t Test For Radon. Budget to Mitigate.

Consider these facts and tell me what you gain by making your offer contingent on another radon test’s findings: radon is deadly.  The price of a radon test is $200.00. A mitigation system guaranteed to keep radon below the EPA Action Level is $800 – $1,000. Multimillion dollars spent on scientific testing proves radon gas is present where you live. 

Would it be smart to forego the test, save the $200, and apply the money to the price of a customized mitigation system for your home? I think it is. I also think it is unwise to decide you don’t need to mitigate based on a two-day test. The two-day test will not refute the facts determined by the expensive long-term testing and scientific research completed and ongoing across the world. 

The Contingency is All About Determining Who Pays The Bill

The purpose of the radon testing contingency, as written in the Wisconsin Offer to Purchase, is to decide who pays for installing a mitigation system if the two-day test reveals a radon level at or above the EPA Action Level. In a climate where buyers are promising they won’t object to defects that cost less than $1,000 to $2,000 to cure, it makes no sense to put the seller at risk of needing to contract and pay for a cheap mitigation system. Accepting the cost of adding a system of any kind that is not currently on the premises is smart negotiating. When the cost is minor and affordable, making the issue a concern for the Seller your Offer’s appeal takes a hit. Spending money to test to confirm what is already known is unnecessary.   Leave the unnecessary out. Protect your family. Plan to install a radon mitigation system after closing. That little change to your offer might be all that’s necessary to make you the most attractive buyer of all the buyers the seller has to choose from. Be safe. Be smart.

Author: Tom Meyer, Owner-Broker, Essential Real Estate, LLC Madison, WI

The real estate transaction, disclosure, and confidentiality are the business of a Wisconsin licensee. It's in the transaction where the skill of the licensee, and their commitment to the law where the public is protected or placed at risk. What you see REALTORS do to brand themselves and their firms, promote their service, advertise, and process paper do not require a license. I believe negotiations to create and honor a real estate purchase agreement is where the agent has the greatest value in a transaction. Paying professional fee rates for the administrative services is a choice consumers deserve. Old business model driven commission rates are taxing the home equity of American home sellers. Essential Real Estate was created to put more money in the hands of the consumer by eliminating expenses for the firm and charging a fair price for the real real estate service.

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