Buyerman, Home Buyer in Milwaukee County, WI

Can a seller tell me I can't do a Radon test in the State of Wisconsin?

Asked by Buyerman, Milwaukee County, WI Mon Jan 23, 2012

There is no contingency in my contract for this test, however I just want to do it for peace-of-mind. Can I have one done legally?

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That would depend upon the terms of your contract or offer to purchase. Did you agree to radon or other testing? If not, then I would say the seller could deny. Although doing so probably may not bode well for getting a deal put together unles there was another offer on the table without the test. I believe the only test or inspection that a seller cannot prevent is the Federal Lead-Based Paint test. Good luck.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 23, 2012
Just a follow-up to my latest answer. If push comes to shove with the knowledge of radon that you have after looking at the WI website (google radon/wi...) ask yourself is it worth losing the house because of "possible high radon"? As one of the others explained, you could ask the seller to allow it (geti it in WRITING) that you will want it tested. If you decide NOT to proceed based upon results, you could still be subject to loss of any earnest money and/or be in breach of contract. Talk to your agen tor attorney.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 24, 2012
Kind of another sticky question. First of all, I don't give "legal" advise. So, is it "legal"? Ask a lawyer. However, you do not have the right under your contract to do an inspection without the consent of the homeowner/seller. You would be putting yourself at risk. You can do it after closing or ask the seller (thru your agent if working with one) to amend the offer which they are not likely to agree to short of other concessions.
Also, the State of WI has a great website showing where higher amounts of radon persist on a map. It also provides great facts about radon. did you know while it can be deadly over periods of time, that is alo usaully very correctable? Radon mitigation systems cost anywhere from $900-1300 (usually closer to $1000.) to install with very high effectiveness. Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 24, 2012
Keep in mind that Radon results can change month to month, year to year.

If it's "peace of mind" you're looking for, you can buy radon testing kits, and do the occasional test now and then after you've taken possession. If you do find Radon, remediation isn't expensive... depending on the property, it could be $500 - $1,500 to repair the problem with a semi-permanent solution.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 23, 2012
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
I would simply ask the seller if you could do it. Tell him that you will still buy the property regardless of the results (and mean it). It's way too late to make this a contingency. He of course can deny this, but to do so after hearing that might make him feel it would look like he was trying to hide something.

And you can always do one after the closing.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 23, 2012
Generally that test is stated in the "other testing" portion of the Addenda A which is attached to the offer to purchase. If the seller agrees to the OTP, there is no problem getting the Radon test. If your true question is whether or not the seller pays for the Radon test, then the answer is no. The buyer pays for that test. You have a right to know about the Radon levels before you move in. If the seller refuses to accept the OTP based on the Radon test, then there could be an issue and I would question things. If you would like any other help, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Nina Kraus
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 23, 2012
Tests are negotiated in the offer to purchase contract. Sellers are not obligated to allow tests. However, most sellers do allow Radon, as well as other tests.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 23, 2012
You can test only if you provided for it in the offer to purchase.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 23, 2012
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