RADON Testing Issue Causes Last-Minute Snarl

By
Real Estate Agent with Prudential Homesale Services Group

Sometimes I would like to escape mentally to a serene place that I could conjure up at a moment's notice.   Today was "one of those days!"

It all began this morning at 7:20 AM with a message left on my cell phone.  The prior evening my out-of-town buyers had signed a purchase sales agreement for a home,  After a lengthy discussion, they agreed to defer the test for RADON until after settlement with the understanding that the sellers would place a specific amount of money in escrow in the event that a RADON mitigation would need to be installed.  The Listing Agent had evidently advised his/her clients that this was the best route to go.  I had suggested Option 2 under the RADON inspection contingency.  In that way, if RADON were discovered, the buyers would still be bound to purchase the home with the stipulation that the sellers would pay for the installation of a RADON mitigation system.

The buyers with whom I have a Buyer's Agency Agreement  signed, initialed and dated the items that were counter offered in the contract.  However, after a sleepless night, they called me to express misgivings after having read some of the educational pamphlets on RADON that I had given them earlier in the day. After speaking with the clients over the phone, I contacted the L.A. to see if we could revise the RADON testing clause to reflect Option 2 rather than the post-settlement RADON testing plan proposed by the sellers.

I had the signed contract ready to hand-deliver today about 12 NOON since I was going to be in the vicinity of the L.A.'s office. Subsequent to the concerns expressed by my buyers, I did not deliver the contract, but, instead continued to try to work things out with the L.A. and Sellers.  Unfortunately, things are not going well, to say the least and everyone is in limbo, so-to-speak.  It appears that the sellers are under the impression that my buyers want to terminate. That is definitely not the case, however. Hard feelings have ensued on both ends. After mentioning that the buyers selectd Option 1 for the other inspection contingencies, thereby leaving them an "out" if they wanted to terminate the contract, I was not successful in understanding why the sellers and L.A. continued to be implacable.

I am acutely aware of the fiduciary responsibilities that I have to my buyer clients- loyalty, good faith effort, confidentiality, advocacy, etc.  Because my clients' apprehension about RADON and growing mistrust about why they cannot have a RADON test performed prior to settlement is very strong, my efforts to make them feel more comfortable about the post-settlement RADON test were not successful. At that point, I knew that my role as client (buyer) advocate must continue to be my guiding force.

I spoke with a home inspector whom I used regularly about the issue.  This individual said that it is rather unusual for the sellers to insist on post-settlement RADON testing.

On another note, I am in a quandary because the L.A. has mentioned on more than one occasion that there is another set of buyers ready to make an offer.

Would you please offer your professional advice on this dilemma? I would sincerely appreciate your insights and recommendations. What would you do in this situation?

 

 

 

 

Posted by

Roseann

close

This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Tags:
radon
fiduciary
inspection
dilemma
issue
postsettlement

Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Rainmaker
662,099
Patricia Aulson
BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOME SERVICES Verani Realty NH Real Estate - Exeter, NH
Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes
Hmmmmm, interesting to say the least....i'll be waiting to see how you make out when all is said in done. Please email me at www.sold@patricia4realestate.com Good Luck! Hampton NH Real Estate www.patricia4realestate.com
Jul 13, 2008 01:16 PM #1
Rainer
43,118
Roseann Annis
Prudential Homesale Services Group - Camp Hill, PA

Thanks, Patricia! I will let you know the outccome via e-mail.

Jul 13, 2008 01:20 PM #2
Anonymous
Tracy L. Williams

Roseann,

It appears to me, based upon the situation, that the L.A. is baiting you with the "on more than one occasion that there is another set of buyers ready to make an offer". Why is it that no offer has presented itself to date? If there truly was another set of buyers ready to make an offer they have not stepped up to the plate and made that offer? This is a ploy to make you feel a sense of loss to be conveyed to your buyers.

Another fact that I find disturbing is the fact the sellers are not willing to allow your buyers to do their due diligence. Regarless of whether the radon test is conducted before or after the closing, the mitigation needs to be the sellers responsibility. Why are they making this fact difficult to manage?

You have mentioned that there will be an escrow set up to cover the mitigation should the need arise which is perfect on your part. It is unusual to have inspections occur after the fact because, in my experience, once the closing has happened, it is similar to pulling molars to get the sellers to do anything once they have their money in hand and have packed up and taken off for Florida.

So with that said, make sure you have 150% of the top end of cost for Radon mitigation in the escrow should you go that route. If not, push the fact that you have a ready, willing, and able buyer who simply wishes to have the testing done prior to closing to make sure there isn't any radon issue. Therefore, the sellers will walk away with everything and not have a portion held back until the testing takes place. It's simplier for everyone to move this way and all is done. Hands can be shaken and both sellers and buyers will be happy the day of closing is that - closed.

Hop I got it right for you and I hope you do have a successful transaction.

Sincerely,

Tracy

www.LaPorteHomeSearch.com

Jul 13, 2008 01:35 PM #3
Rainmaker
662,099
Patricia Aulson
BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOME SERVICES Verani Realty NH Real Estate - Exeter, NH
Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes
I just saw the about comment and think it a very good one. I agree that once the new buyers have taken possession and the sellers have vacated and most likely left the area, the need to worry about the result is lessened. I guess you'll have to "play it out" as they say. Again, good luck, www. Patricia4realestate.com
Jul 13, 2008 01:44 PM #4
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?

Rainer
43,118

Roseann Annis

Ask me a question
*
*
*
*
Spam prevention

Additional Information