Radon Testing and Real Estate in Minnesota
The following information from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) addresses radon concerns that may arise during estate transactions. Its intent is to assist buyers and sellers in making informed decisions about radon. Radon is not regulated in Minnesota, so it is up to homeowners themselves to decide how much radon is acceptable in their homes. Handling radon issues during the sale of a home is open to negotiation between the buyer and seller. Since a radon problem can be easily identified and fixed, there is no health-based reason why it should be a “deal breaker”.
Radon testing and mitigation are not required during real estate transactions. Buyers and sellers in a real estate transaction are free to negotiate and respond as they choose. Ultimately, it is up to the buyer to decide what is an acceptable level of radon risk in the home.
If you have concerns about radon in your home, we can provide Radon Testing (test may be coordinated so results are available along with your home inspection report). Real Estate Insights Inc offers radon testing only in conjunction with a home inspection. There is an additional fee for radon testing.
The Minnesota Radon Awareness Act requires specific disclosure and education be provided to potential home buyers during residential real estate transactions in Minnesota. The required disclosure must include, among other things, a copy of the MDH publication entitled “Radon in Real Estate Transactions“, and must contain the following “Radon Warning Statement”.
MDH Radon Warning Statement
“The Minnesota Department of Health strongly recommends that ALL homebuyers have an indoor radon test performed prior to purchase or taking occupancy and recommends having the radon levels mitigated if elevated radon concentrations are found. Elevated radon concentrations can easily be reduced by a qualified, certified, or licensed, if applicable, radon mitigator. Every buyer of any interest in residential real property is notified that the property may present exposure to dangerous levels of indoor radon gas that may place the occupants at risk of developing radon-induced lung cancer. Radon, a Class A human carcinogen, is the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers and the second leading cause overall. The seller of any interest in residential real property is required to provide the buyer with any information on radon test results of the dwelling.”
According to information on the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) website, MDH recommends that all Minnesota homeowners test their homes for radon. A radon test is the only way to find out how much radon is in your home. You can test your home yourself or hire a radon measurement professional. Most radon tests can be performed on your own. Hiring a radon measurement professional is recommended when an unbiased, third party is needed, such as in a real estate transaction. The result from a properly performed radon test will help you decide if you need to reduce your home’s radon level.
For the most accurate radon testing results, any real estate testing requires closed-house conditions. This means keeping all windows and exterior doors closed, except for normal entry and exit. Closed-house conditions should begin at least 12 hours before the start of the radon test. Operate home heating or cooling systems normally during the test. Radon tests conducted during a real estate transaction should be done in the lowest level of home that is occupiable (such as the basement or a room above a crawl space) for each foundation of the home.
Recommendations to Sellers
As a seller, consider the benefits of testing your house well before you put it on the market, as opposed to waiting until you are in the middle of the sale. If you find a problem that should be fixed, you will have time to get it corrected. You also may get a better price for the home because properly conducted radon tests can be uses as a positive selling feature of the home.
Recommendations to Buyers
If the home has been tested, the buyer must decide the results of the past test(s) are acceptable. Items to consider include:
- What was the level of radon found?
- What was the duration of the test?
- When was the test performed?
- Which area(s) of the home was tested?
- Who performed the test?
If the home has not been tested, the buyer should decide if they wish to request testing. If yes, items to consider include:
- Who will perform the test?
- What type of test will be performed?
- What area of the home will be tested?
- How will the results be shared?
- At what level will a radon mitigation system be installed?
- Who will pay for the testing and/or mitigation?
To get more information on radon or other indoor air quality issues, contact:
Minnesota Department of Health
Indoor Air Unit
625 Robert St N
PO Box 64975
St. Paul, MN 55164-0975
Phone: 651-201-4601 or 800-798-9050
For questions about information contained on this page or indoor air quality, please contact the MDH Indoor Air Unit at 651-201-4601 or 800-798-9050
Resources for Radon Information
The following resources provide information on radon including what radon is, where it comes from, how it gets into homes and why the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and other organizations recommend testing your home for radon.
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