Radon Gas is present in the home we are buying. What should we do?

You've found your dream home and all is well until you learn that the results of your radon inspection are in.  The levels are 4.0 or higher, which is considered unsafe. Radon gas is a leading cause of lung cancer and you are understandably frightened. You don't want to live with radon! No one does, which is why there are companies out there whose job it is to remove the radon. Once they fix it ("remediation of radon"), radon levels should go down to almost zero. Home sellers know that nobody is going to buy a house with radon, which is why their attorneys and realtors should be preparing them for the possibility of having to pay for remediation.  The reality is that if someone wants to sell their house, they must have it removed! As a buyer, you want to make sure that you have your radon test completed within the contractual time frame, which is usually five days from seller's acceptance of the contract. Extensions of this date may be necessary. If you learn of a radon problem, which is not uncommon, your attorney will ask that it be remediated, before closing, at seller's expense. Your attorney should also be asking that sellers pay for a re-test and present you with evidence that there is no longer a radon problem. This should all happen before closing. In the alternative, if you want to have it done yourself for some reason (usually if there is a time contstraint), you may wish to negotiate a credit of approximately $1,800.00 (Chicago area) so that you can have it taken care of yourself. 

Carol O'Connor Cadiz
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Attorney & Owner at O'Connor Cadiz Law: Injury & Accidents, Disability Insurance.