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Community Environmental Health

IDEM Environmental Health > Radon > Radon and Real Estate Transactions Radon and Real Estate Transactions

There are many things to consider when buying or selling a home. This website provides a brief overview of issues to consider. For more detailed information, see the U.S. EPA Home Buyer's and Seller's Guide to Radon.

The U.S. EPA recommends:

  • If you are buying or selling a home, have it tested for radon.
  • For a new home, ask if radon-resistant construction features were used and if the home has been tested.
  • Fix the home if the radon level is 4 pCi/L or higher.
  • Take steps to prevent anyone from moving or disturbing the test device or from opening windows or outside doors when conducting a radon test.

I'm Selling a Home. What Should I Do?

If Your Home Has Already Been Tested for Radon...
  • If you are thinking of selling your home and you have already tested your home for radon, you must disclose that information on the Indiana Residential Real Estate Disclosure Form.
No matter what kind of test you took, a potential buyer may ask for a new test especially if:
  • Testing was not conducted as the directions required for the particular test devise;
  • The last test is not recent, e.g., within two years;
  • You have renovated or altered your home since you tested; or
  • The buyer plans to live in a lower level of the house than was tested, such as a basement suitable for occupancy but not currently lived in.

Be sure to save information about your radon test, so that you can answer any questions you receive about the test. Having this information will help you and the buyer interpret the test results.

Important information to know is:
  • The results of previous testing;
  • Who conducted the previous test: the homeowner, a radon professional, or some other person;
  • What kind of test devise was used;
  • The dates of testing;
  • The name of the lab where the results were analyzed, if the test was sent to a lab;
  • Where in the home the test was taken, including which floor, room and location in the room where the test was taken.
  • What, if any, structural changes, alterations, or changes in the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system have been made to the house since the test was done. Such changes may affect radon levels.
If Your Home Has Not Yet Been Tested for Radon...
  • If you can, test your home before putting it on the market. The radon test result is important information about your home. The test result can be used to help you decide if you want to have your home mitigated before placing it on the market. Many people prefer to mitigate before placing the home on the market, because it puts the seller in control of the mitigation process rather than the homebuyer. It also saves time and eliminates a point of possible negotiation breakdown during the selling process. In addition, having a home with a mitigation system or with known low radon levels can be a selling point for a home.
  • Indiana requires radon professionals to be certified. Ask potential testers or mitigators for a copy of their State Certificate or Certification Number. If in doubt, you should call the Indiana Radon Hotline to see if the tester is listed on the State Certification List. Because Indiana law requires disclosure of radon information to buyers, most people choose to use a State Certified Tester and Mitigator for real estate transactions.

I'm Buying a Home. What Should I Do?

If the Home Has Already Been Tested for Radon...

If you are thinking of buying a home, you may decide to accept an earlier test result from the seller, or ask the seller for a new test to be conducted by a certified radon tester. Before you accept the seller's test, you should determine:

  • The results of previous testing;
  • Who conducted the previous test: the homeowner, a radon professional, or some other person;
  • Where in the home the previous test was taken, especially if you may plan to live in a lower level of the home. For example, the test may have been taken on the first floor. However, if you want to use the basement as living space, test there; and
  • What, if any, structural changes, alterations, or changes in the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system have been made to the house since the test was done. Such changes may affect radon levels.

If you decide that a new test is needed, discuss it with the seller as soon as possible. If you decide to use a qualified radon tester, get a list of Certified Radon Testers from the Indiana State Department of Health.

If the Home Has Not Yet Been Tested for Radon...

Make sure that a radon test is done as soon as possible. Consider including provisions in the contract specifying:

  • Where the test will be located;
  • Who should conduct the test;
  • What type of test to do;
  • When to do the test;
  • How the seller and the buyer will share the test results and test costs (if necessary); and
  • When radon mitigation measures will be taken and who will pay for them.

Make sure that the test is done in the lowest level of the home suitable for occupancy. This means the lowest level that you are going to use as living space that is finished or does not require renovations prior to use. A state or local radon official or qualified radon tester can help you make some of these decisions.

If you decide to finish or renovate an unfinished area of the home in the future, a radon test should be taken before starting the project and after the project is finished. Generally, it is less expensive to install a radon-reduction system before (or during) renovations rather than afterwards.