Selling Your Massachusetts Home And Buying Another? What Should You Know About Radon?

5 October 2016
 Categories: Environmental, Blog


Whether you've simply outgrown your current home or your job has been transferred across the state, you may be trying to simultaneously coordinate a home sale and a home purchase. In Massachusetts, this can mean a required radon inspection. Unfortunately, with an estimated one in four homes in Massachusetts harboring radon levels deemed excessive, there's about a 25 percent chance that one of your inspections will fail. What are your options if your home (or the home you'd like to purchase) fails a radon screening? Read on to learn more about the disclosure and treatment regulations when it comes to selling and buying high-radon homes in Massachusetts.

What radon remediation steps are you required to take if the home you're selling has tested positive?

Massachusetts real estate law does not pose any specific restrictions on the sale of a home with high radon levels. However, most buyers' inspections will turn up this issue, and if you've already had a high radon test in the past (even if only when you bought your home), you may be legally required to disclose this on any sale documents.

Many buyers may be willing to walk over this issue, so depending upon the circumstances that have led to the sale of your home and how picky you can afford to be, you may want to pay for a radon mitigation yourself or include a contingency credit in the purchase agreement. Fortunately, the installation of a whole-house radon mitigation system should only set you back around $1,200 (with prices ranging anywhere from $800 to $1,500 across the U.S.). During the purchase and sale process, this type of cost can usually be easily financed or withdrawn from your closing cash if you're unable to pay it out of pocket.

What are your options if the home you're planning to purchase generates a high radon level?

When the home you'd like to purchase tests positive for excessive radon levels, you may be able to use this as leverage to get some of your closing costs paid by the seller or even have the seller install a radon mitigation system prior to closing.

This can be a particular advantage if you're in no great rush to have the radon problem taken care of (for example, if the only high tests were in a crawlspace you don't plan to use) and can instead use a seller's credit to reduce the amount of cash you'll need to bring to closing or funds you'll need to secure with a mortgage.