Wednesday, February 20, 2008

New Illinois Radon Disclosure

As of January 1, 2008, the Illinois Radon Awareness Act (420 ILCS 46/1) requires sellers of residential real estate to provide to the buyer the IEMA pamphlet entitled "Radon Testing Guidelines for Real Estate Transactions" (or an equivalent pamphlet approved for use by IEMA) and the Illinois Disclosure of Information on Radon Hazards. The way the statute is worded, the buyer is not obligated to purchase the property until the disclosure and pamphlet are provided. If the disclosure and pamphlet are provided after an offer is presented to the seller, the seller must provide these documents to the buyer before accepting the offer, and allow the buyer an opportunity to review the information and possibly amend the offer. I find the italicized language problematic, since it does not distinguish between "good" and "bad" disclosures. For example, a buyer tenders an offer to a seller. The seller dismisses other offers, provides a radon disclosure which shows the home was tested last week and has no radon, and then accepts the buyer's offer. The buyer can then lower the offered purchase price. Sure, sure this is a counteroffer and the seller does not have to accept it. So, sellers, be careful, and give a radon disclosure and pamphlet to anyone who even looks like they might think about looking at your home.