Radon awareness

My apologies for the dull topics this week but I am finding that there are people, even real estate agents who do not seem to be aware of the laws concerning radon and real estate transactions. Tomorrow I may write about lead based paint mythology.

Radon-element-e1382118490555“Disclosure Requirements Effective January 1, 2014, the Minnesota Radon Awareness Act requires specific disclosure and education be provided to potential home buyers during residential real estate transactions in Minnesota. This publication is being provided by the seller in order to meet a requirement of the Act. In addition, before signing a purchase agreement to sell or transfer residential real property, the seller shall disclose in writing to the buyer any knowledge the seller has of radon concentrations in the dwelling.”

Radon is a colorless, odorless radioactive gas that seeps up from the earth. When inhaled, it gives off radioactive particles that can damage the cells that line the lung.Long term exposure to radon can lead to lung cancer. In fact, over 21,000 lung cancer deaths in the US each year are from radon, making it a serious health concern for all Minnesotans. [MN department of health]


Last week I had a real estate agent ask me if my buyers would be interested in a radon test that had been taken on the property just a few weeks before it was listed. The law says that the results of radon tests are supposed to be disclosed. In other words the agent did not have to ask she should have had the results included with the rest of the disclosures so that the buyer could review them along with the other disclosures.

There were a couple of pages added to the Minnesota sellers disclosure that most home sellers are required to fill out and sign but I am finding that those two pages, which are all about radon are rarely included with the disclosure.

Last year I sold a condo that doesn’t have a basement and the buyers had a radon test. I question the appropriateness of that test because radon is below ground but I would never suggest to a buyer that they do not need to test for radon because that would be wrong.

I recently had a home buyer tell me that radon levels in a home are higher in the summer because the soil is warmer yet other sources suggest that indoor radon is worse in the winter during the heating season.

The Minnesota Department of Health is a great source of information about radon and radon testing. They don’t sell radon mitigation systems or test kits or anything else. The site is a great source of information about many things related to health, indoor air and pollutants found in homes.

If you are a real estate agent broker reading this please have a little talk with your agents about radon at the next Tuesday sales meeting.

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