Can I Still Sell My Home if It Has High Radon Levels?
You can’t see it or smell it, but high levels of radon in your home can cause major health problems over time. It’s the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers, and Iowa has the highest concentrations in the United States. This radioactive gas naturally occurs in rocks and soil, and seeps into your home through your sump pump or cracks in the foundation.
As many as 5 in 7 Iowa homes have high radon levels, according to data compiled by the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH). Even if your neighbor’s home doesn’t have a problem, yours potentially could. Radon in homes is particularly problematic, due to poor ventilation.
Although you’re not required to, the IDPH, Environmental Protection Agency, American Lung Association and Surgeon General recommend testing your home for radon gas before selling it. This is often done in connection with the home inspection, which the potential buyer pays for.
Acceptable radon levels are below 4pCi/L. If your home tests higher than this, state law mandates that you disclose it to potential buyers. While you can sell a home in Iowa with high radon levels, it’s a turnoff to potential buyers.
They might simply walk away or make an offer with the condition that you install a radon mitigation system. And this surprise can cost you thousands, something you don’t want to be dealing with when trying to sell your home fast in Des Moines.
To avoid the last-minute hassle and headaches, here are a few steps you can take ahead of time.
Do Radon Testing Beforehand to Eliminate Surprises
If you’ve never tested your home for radon, now is a good time to do so, since 50%–70% of homes in Iowa have high radon levels.
You can do this by purchasing a $15 short-term radon test kit from a local home improvement store. Sometimes you can get these tests for free from your local public health department, so check with them first before buying one. These kits are used to check for radon in the basement, since radon levels are typically highest there.
You can also have a professional do it, which provides the opportunity for long-term testing. When hiring a company, make sure they’re included on the IDPH’s list of registered radon testing mitigation specialists.
Professional testing is typically around $50, but the cost varies from company to company. Radon levels will be sampled in your home for 90 days or more, giving you more accurate averages.
Know Your Options for Radon Mitigation
If average radon concentration in your home is above 4pCi/L, radon mitigation is recommended. This typically includes installing a radon mitigation system that safely exhausts the gas outdoors and restores safe radon levels. It does this through underground piping and a special radon fan. On average, these systems cost around $1,200, according to Kansas State University’s National Radon Program Services.
Since radon can leak in through foundation cracks, you’ll need to fix those too when selling your house. You may be able to fix small cracks on your own with caulk, but bigger cracks can cause big problems, like bowing walls or sloping floors. The average cost for foundation repair is $4,482, according to national averages compiled by HomeAdvisor.
When selling your home, you’re likely going to be on the hook for the radon mitigation system cost and foundation repairs, if necessary. If you’re looking to sell your home quickly and don’t want to deal with extra costs, Sell Now Iowa can help.
We buy houses for cash in Des Moines, no matter what condition the property is in. This includes homes with high radon levels. Our team of experienced real estate professionals will meet with you to learn more about your situation before making a no-obligation cash offer within 24 hours. With this offer includes a guaranteed closing with zero contingencies, so you can sell your home quickly and get on with your life.
Sell Now Iowa makes selling your home simple and stress-free, with zero obligation or pressure. Ready to request your cash offer? Give us a call at 515-531-2274 to schedule your appointment today!