It’s been several months since CARST released the Guideline to Conducting Radon Assessments as part of a Real-Estate Transaction. As part of the process of developing and releasing this document, we felt it was important to gather feedback from you – our professionals – as you implement the recommendations and see results. In addition, we have received several questions about this from several of you, and from real estate groups across the country and we have provided some information for clarity.
It’s important to remember the history and purpose of the Real-Estate guideline. CARST continues to support Health Canada’s Guidelines regarding radon, which emphasize the importance of a long-term (more than 90 day) test. For real estate, the ideal situation is still one wherein any home that is listed for sale has either been previously tested for radon (using a long-term test), or is tested for radon during the first heating season using a long-term test once the new owner takes possession of the home. Setting funds aside to offset the cost of a radon mitigation system (if one were required) would be negotiated at the discretion of all parties involved in the transaction.
Over the course of the last few years, an ever-growing number of CARST members were expressing concerns over what was happening in practice. Radon tests of less than 48 hours duration, inconsistent application of “closed-house conditions”, and other inconsistencies moved CARST to develop a guideline for real-estate transactions.
The priorities in developing the guideline were to base our recommendations on the best available research, provide a clear consistent structure for all parties involved, and still promote Health Canada’s guidelines. After three years of work, CARST released the Real Estate Assessment Guideline, all the while identifying that we need to continue to gather feedback from our professionals in the field and seek additional research.
Our first method to gather this is to get information from you in the field, if you are using the Real Estate Assessment, we encourage you to keep records and then submit them to us here:
Real Estate Assessment Data Sharing Form
We're also looking for general feedback from you on the Real Estate Assessment Guideline. If you haven't already completed our survey, please take a moment and click on the following link to do so:
CARST's Radon and Real Estate Survey
What are real estate agents saying about this?
We have been working on communicating our process with real estate agents across the country and here is some of the feedback we have received.
Here is a quote from Real Estate Council Alberta (RECA), "Alberta real estate professionals are trained to inform and advise their buying clients about radon during the buying process. Health Canada recommends basing a decision to mitigate on measurements that are representative of the average annual radon concentrations in a home, such as a long-term test of at least 90 days. Because of this, short-term testing is not recommended by real estate professionals in Alberta during the buying process. For more information go to www.reca.ca and type Radon in the search bar."
We have been discussing the document with the Canadian Real Estate Association. They are interested in raising awareness on radon and sharing information about their members. They would like us to focus on long-term testing.
Real estate agents have been growing in awareness on radon, and this has been a great opportunity to provide them with information and presentations on radon. Our recommendation for you, our members, is to work with your local real estate agents providing locally relevant radon information, asking to provide a presentation to their colleagues and helping them find testing devices and/or services for their past and future clients.