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?