A law was passed in January 2014 stating that sellers must explicitly answer if their home has been tested for radon, a toxic gas. Additionally, sellers must provide buyers radon warning information developed by the state health department.
The law protects homebuyers who may not know to ask about the odorless, colorless gas - which is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. MPR reports that more than 700 people die annually in Minnesota from long-term radon exposure.
If the buyer is unsatisfied with the information you can provide as a seller, they may request additional tests. If the test shows a dangerous level within the home, you must decide who will pay for the issue to be fixed. Because radon is produced by decaying soil elements, the “fix” is to run a pipe from underneath your house to outside the property, and to seal off any entry points in your home’s foundation.
“When this law was first passed, some people were worried that the process would stall or even put a stop to some closings in Minnesota and western Wisconsin. The reality is, we all want to make sure that homeowners are protected within their own properties,” says Jim Young, an Edina Realty regional manager. “By enforcing this new law, we are adding protections in for both sellers and buyers. And the cost of giving high levels of radon is only around $1,500 – which is not really enough to put a stop to a purchase, in most cases.”
If you’re planning on selling your home, talk with your Edina Realty REALTOR® about the best plan of action for your home’s radon levels. Together, you can determine if you want to run a current test, or even run a full mitigation process before listing your home.