Penelope, Home Buyer in Minneapolis, MN

If the house I am looking to buy comes back with a radon inspection score of 8.9, what should my next step

Asked by Penelope, Minneapolis, MN Fri Mar 28, 2008

be? Is the seller required to mitigate? Should it be a sticking point on our end?

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James Gordon…, Agent, Hamilton, OH
Thu Aug 12, 2010
The Surgeon General of the United recommends mitigation if the level is 4 or higher. Here is a link for a home buyers guide.
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Scott Hutchi…, Agent, Lakeville, MN
Thu Aug 12, 2010
If it comes back that high, try to negotiate the seller to have a mitigation system installed. If the seller will not negotiate on it (as they are not required to), and assuming you are happy with your value, pay to have it done.
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D'Anne Granq…, , 54449
Mon Apr 7, 2008
I just thought I would mention to you that in our area...WI and MN there is a huge difference in what is considered an "acceptable" level of Radon...although I do not know the level for MN...the level here in WI is an average of over 4.5...some states have acceptable levels as high as 14! So you may want to be careful in stating that across the board levels should not be above 1.

The reason for this difference may be our soil types in the Northern part of the states are loaded with granite subbase...the shifting in this base is what can cause trapped radon gas to escape...etc. As a for instance...just North of my home there are properties that test out with Radon levels of 55 and higher!

Penelope, you must refer to your states regulations to determine if this can/will be an issue. If the level is above what is considered by your state regulation, then you may have a "material defect". You do have the right to request that the sellers correct the problem via a proposed amendment to the sales contract. They of course do not HAVE to do anything (it certainly would seem to be in their best interest because as was pointed out before, now they do have the duty to disclose this defect).
Mitigation systems in our area run about $1000 for a 1700 square foot ranch...costs may increase if you are dealing with a larger or two story home.
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Michael Doyle, Agent, Brooklyn Park, MN
Fri Mar 28, 2008
The seller is now required to disclose to all buyers the radon level. With that in mind most sellers will agree to mitigate the radon problem and have the house re-tested. If the home has a dirt basment or crawl space it could be expensive, if not most likely the system will be one to two thousand dollars.
Michael Doyle Realtor
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Alicia Garat…, Agent, Minneapolis, MN
Fri Mar 28, 2008
Hi Penelope -

My radon experts have indicated that testing can vary widely from week to week. They've suggested to me that I should have my clients do a second test before determining that mitigation is the way to go.

My suggestion is to see if you can get the seller to pay for a second inspection. The seller knows that it's a potential problem and would have to disclose it to all future buyers if you elect to not proceed with the purchase. If the second test is as high as the first, you have the option of trying to negotiate this as part of your purchase agreement.

Have you discussed the options with your realtor yet?
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Larry Story, Agent, Greensboro, NC
Fri Mar 28, 2008
Yes it should be a sticking point. Radon emissions should not be over a 1.0 in the basement area. at 8.9 you are looking at a problem for your family long term. Of course not knowing how your contract is worded it is hard to say on your next step. I would make it a priority. I also do not know the home or whether this is with a basement on a concrete slab or what. So proceed with caution for sure.

Larry Story
Coldwell Banker
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Todd Norsted, Agent, Maple Grove, MN
Fri Mar 28, 2008
Penelope......No, the seller is not obligated to midigate, but if you make a condition of the sale, they have to in order to get the deal done. At 8.9, I'd have my Buyer's make the midigation a condition of sale.

I hope that helps...

Thanks, Todd Norsted
Web Reference:
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Aaron Dickin…, Agent, Champlin, MN
Fri Mar 28, 2008
The seller has no responsibilities by default to do anything but it is typical that buyers negotiate all or large parts of the expense to be born by the sellers. You need a couple quotes for a mitigation project... here's a great guy that has done several for my clients:

Bradley S. Nyberg
Quality Radon Services
Telephone: (612) 521-3580
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