Back in 2014 the Utah Association of Realtors added checking for radon on their Buyer Due Diligence Checklist. This may seem superfluous to some, but as a dangerous carcinogen that can sneak into your home without notice it’s important to check for radon before selling or buying a home.
What is Radon and How Does it Get in My House?
Radon may sound like something from a comic book, but it’s actually a very real, colorless, odorless and tasteless gas that is estimated to be present in one out of every 15 homes in America.
Radon has been lined to more than 20,000 cases of cancer each year, coming second only to cigarette smoking as the leading cause of lung cancer. When you breathe in radon particles then they stick in your lungs and damage the cells. If the radon goes undetected over time then you are being exposed to radon over a long period of time leading to greater damage and risk of cancer and health issues.
Radon occurs when uranium decays in the soil, sneaking into your home through cracks in your foundation and basement floors and walls. Radon is a heavy gas that can at times even dissolve in water, making its way into your homes water source. While most commonly dispersing through the air, you’ll find it in higher concentrations in the lowest spots of your home such as the basement or crawl space.
If you think you’re safe because you live in a newer home, think again. Radon can be found anywhere from historic homes to brand new builds so the EPA recommends testing your home every two years or at the very least when you are preparing to sell your home.
Testing for Radon
You can purchase a radon test or have a professional come to your home to do it for you. A radon test kit will cost you anywhere from $150-$250. A professional would first seal off any potential radon gas entry points before conducting the test and that service would cost extra. The radon test would be put in the lowest level of your home. Once the test is placed 20 inches off the ground you will leave it in place for a certain period of time as radon levels can fluctuate so you need more time to gauge the levels. Certain tests will be done over a few short days while other tests take up to 90 days to measure the radon in the air.
If you get back results that measure at 4 pCi/L or more then you have a radon problem. Solving this issue isn’t cheap and you’ll need to invest in a radon mitigation service to clear the air in your home. The average cost of a radon mitigation system is $1000.
Should I Test for Radon before Selling?
The last thing a homeowner wants to do is uncover more problems or new issues with their house before putting it on the market. It can feel like you are spending thousands and thousands of dollars just to give your new and improved home to someone else to enjoy and sometimes you just don’t have those thousands of dollars to spend.
While it’s easy to want to ignore this step and avoid a potential problem, many buyers will ask for the readings from a recent radon test before purchasing your home. If the test comes back with high numbers then many sellers will walk away from that type of safety concern rather than deal with radon mitigation services themself. At the very least a potential buyer would likely ask for a significantly reduced selling price if radon levels are high.
Can I Sell My Home with Any Level of Radon?
Even low levels of radon can be a concern for potential home buyers. If the cost of mitigating for radon or the time involved is a deal breaker for you then consider selling your home to a non-traditional buyer. Gary has been purchasing homes in Utah for years and has successfully helped people just like you to sell their home without the headache of repairs, updates and even radon mitigation. Gary is the solution for home sellers who need to move quickly or who don’t have cash to make a home in better and safer selling condition. With Gary Buys Houses you can close in as little as a week with a cash offer.
If your home is testing positive for radon, reach out to Gary and get an offer today.