Utah is a buyer beware state! This means that it is the buyer’s job to make sure they are comfortable with the property BEFORE purchase, because once they close on the home, any of the home’s problems are now THEIR problems. The only exception to this is when a seller knows about an issue but doesn’t tell their buyer about it.
As part of their due diligence, some buyers want to test for mold, meth, or radon.
Radon is a naturally occurring gas that comes through groundwater and can pool in some homes (often basements) with the people living there being none the wiser. If the radon level is above 4% (the disclosure limit for the state), the buyer is legally obligated to make the seller aware of it. If you test for it and it comes back over 4%, you can ask the seller to make changes or mitigate it.
Meth tests are extremely sensitive. If someone has smoked meth in the house once, the tests will pick up on it. If meth was cooked in the house, it can make those living in the space sick. Should a meth test come back positive (anything over one), you can ask the sellers to have a meth clean done by professionals before you buy the home (though, of course, the seller can always say no!)
Mold is tough because mold that looks black may not be black mold and black mold may not be visible. Only a test will let you know if it is in the home.
The trouble with all three of these issues is that without testing, a seller could sell you a house with all three of these issues and have no idea about it because most people don’t test for these things. This means they would have no legal obligation to you later if you found those issues in the house.
If you want to know whether it is worth the few hundred dollars to test for these things, hire a good Realtor who can tell you if it may be necessary in your case.
If you have an questions about these three potential issues, feel free to contact me!