Dealing with radon when buying or selling a home in Northern Colorado

Information about Radon for Home Buyer's in Fort Collins, Loveland, and Windsor

Required Reading: City of Fort Collins Radon Brochure

If you’re a home buyer in Fort Collins, you are required to be given a copy of this brochure.  You can download it here.  You can also read frequently asked questions about radon on the City of Fort Collins Website: http://www.fcgov.com/airquality/radon-faq.php.

Radon Tips for Northern Colorado Home Buyers

1. Get educated about Radon – Over 70% of the homes in Northern Colorado have radon levels about the EPA recommended level of 4 pCi/L. Since radon gas is a very common concern for most home buyers in Northern Colorado, it will do you well to know what it is and what it takes to mitigate it.

2. Get Radon Levels Tested – A professional radon test can be done by most home inspectors for an additional $100. I always recommend getting levels tested, especially if you have finished space in your basement where radon is most commonly found.

3. Get a mitigation estimate – If your inspection comes back with high radon levels, get a free estimate from a qualified radon mitigation expert.  Your Buyer’s Agent should have a few quality references to give you.

4. Be realistic – Radon mitigation usually ranges in price from $700 to $1,200 depending on whether you need a passive or active ventilation system.  As with any inspection concern, buyers need to be realistic with their negotiations.  If you are paying list price or close to it for a home, I would typically expect the seller’s to install this before closing.  On the other end of the stick, if you are buying a fixer-upper that needs lots of work, this may just add leverage for negotiating a price reduction.

Radon Tips for Northern Colorado Home Sellers

1. Test levels yourself before you go to market.  The City sells self-test kits($3.50 for short-term: $13.95 for long-term) at two locations:

  • Fort Collins Senior Center, 1200 Raintree Drive
  • Fort Collins Development Review Center, 281 North College Ave
2. Prepare to negotiate – As with any agreement, what you want to do about Radon is entirely up to you.  One common solution to radon negotiations is to agree to a specific price-reduction versus having to hire a contractor to mitigate radon while you’re still in the home.
3. Should you mitigate it ahead of time? – Most people I know would much rather put money into something other than a radon system.  However, if you have a basement with livable square footage, there is a good chance radon will be a concern for the new buyers.  Radon is not typically something that hinders buyers from writing an offer, but it is a concern that typically complicates inspection negotiations.