Inspection turned up elevated radon level (5 ). How do I renegotiate the price?

Asked by Matt, Finn Tue Aug 28, 2007

Hello,
I do not have a buyer's agent. Does my attorney renegotiate on my behalf or do I renegotiate directly with the Seller's Realtor?

Thanks!

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15
Matt, Home Buyer, Finn
Wed Aug 29, 2007
Thank you all for your intelligent, thoughtful responses. I'm in New York State. Upstate where the house is located there does tend to be elevated levels of radon. This level is specifically 5.7, which I do understand is not very high, but needs to be resolved nonetheless.
The attorney has suggested that I renegotiate with the seller's realtor, however, I did think that this would be something he should do. At any rate, we did get some money off of the list price, perhaps splitting the cost would be the most fair thing to do. I'll keep you all posted.

Thanks again!
2 votes
Deborah Madey, Agent, Brick, NJ
Wed Aug 29, 2007
Matt, I have seen remediation quotes vary quite extensively. Get a few quotes before you make any decisons of who to go with.
1 vote
Duane Kidman, Agent, Mansfield, TX
Tue Aug 28, 2007
My general rule is that, "Everything in Real Estate is negotiable." Whenever I represent a buyer, I always expect to re-negotiate the price after each inspection. High radon levels are unhealthy and can cause many illnesses, including lung cancer (a friend of mine purchased a house in Arizona, he came down with lung cancer 2 years later, radon tests show elevated levels). As for who negotiates, you can do it yourself, your Attorney, or you can hire an experience Real Estate Professional. Since home purchases include large sums of money, I recommend you use a professional experienced in Real Estate negotiations. More importantly, you need to discover the source of the radon and have the problem treated and resolved before closing. Good Luck.
1 vote
Victoria Lor…, , Fairfield County, CT
Tue Aug 28, 2007
You can do it either way. Depending on how high it was will likely determine the outcome. Just a smidge over, often both sides split it. Alot over, the seller should definately cover it.
1 vote
Melissa Manc…, Agent, Plainville, MA
Wed Sep 12, 2007
Hi Matt,

Im glad I could help! Best of luck to you!
0 votes
Matt, Home Buyer, Finn
Sun Sep 9, 2007
Thanks a lot, Melissa. We're getting an estimate tomorrow and the seller has agreed to pay for half the system.
0 votes
Melissa Manc…, Agent, Plainville, MA
Tue Sep 4, 2007
Hi Matt,

Your best bet is to get an estimate for remediation and ask the seller to credit this to you at closing. This will put the actual money in your hands to rectify the situation. Since you are unrepresented, if the seller is reluctant to work with you on this, kindly explain that if they do not go through with your recommendation they will have to disclose this to any future buyers. This statement is typically a real eye-opener for most sellers.
Web Reference:  http://MelissaBMancini.com
0 votes
Matt, Home Buyer, Finn
Sun Sep 2, 2007
Thanks a lot, Deborah. From what I've found out, this is the way it will work.
0 votes
Deborah Madey, Agent, Brick, NJ
Wed Aug 29, 2007
Your contract price will remain the same. At closing, there are always a series of debits and credits issued and then the final cash settlements are made. Most likely, your transaction will reflect that amount as a credit at closing. The sellers agents can confirm for you if this is how it will be handled on your transaction. Make sure that the settlement agent is aware if there is to be a credit at closing. In NJ, attorneys act as the settlement agent in the majority of purchase contracts in the northern and central parts of the state. In other states, escrow companies or title companies are more likely to settle the transaction.
0 votes
Matt, Home Buyer, Finn
Wed Aug 29, 2007
It seems like the seller will split the costs with us. However I think I would prefer to have the work done once I move in. What's the easiest way to get their half of the cost? Off of the price of the house? Cash at closing?
0 votes
Pam Winterba…, Agent, Danville, VA
Tue Aug 28, 2007
Matt.....Since you do not have a Realtor working for you I would talk with you attorney so he can negotiate in you behalf. What is the radon reading in your area?
0 votes
Erin Stumpf…, Agent, Sacramento, CA
Tue Aug 28, 2007
Just out of curiousity Matt, is that Radon Level out of character for the area?
0 votes
Deborah Madey, Agent, Brick, NJ
Tue Aug 28, 2007
In some states, it is unusual to have an attorney involved with typical real estate transactions or negotiations. In other states, an attorney may review docs, but not take an active role in the negotiations, particularly when agents are involved.

In New Jersey, it is most common for attorneys to act as the settlement agents, and to maintain a lead role in post inspection negotiations. Since you are not in NJ, this may not hold true for your situation.

Since you indicate you do not have a Realtor representative, I do suggest that you look to your attorney for advice and assistance in the negotiations.
0 votes
Diane Glander, Agent, Spring Lake, NJ
Tue Aug 28, 2007
Your attorney would be doing the negotiating after speaking with you to see what you want. Usually done attorney to attorney from information gathered from their respective clients. You should be prepared that the seller may remediate rather than give you a credit. Good luck.
Web Reference:  http://www.dianeglander.com
0 votes
Amy Wengerd, Agent, Canton, OH
Tue Aug 28, 2007
Hi Matt,
Your attorney can renogiate for you if you wish. With it only being 1 point over the cutoff the seller may or may not come down on the price. Your position will depend on the price you are paying for the home. If you have gotten the sellers to come down substantially on their price they may not budge on the radon. If you have paid close to list price then you may want to stand firm on having the sellers remedy the situation. Usually, I suggest both parties get their own estimate and split it down the middle when it's this close. Also, I have had buyers take the home as is and not worry about the radon being slightly elevated but you have to be comfortable with that. Most sellers will pay for the treatment if you insist due to the fact they will have to now disclose the radon level to the next buyers. Best of Luck.
Web Reference:  http://www.amywengerd.com
0 votes
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