Thank you for your response. You raised the interesting issue of inspection. I have some additional observations about that.
Cartus itself performs no inspections. The disclosure statement it provides is a blank form with "Seller is a non-occupant owner and has no knowledge of this property" stamped on every page.
With respect to radon, the disclosure documents include a radon inspection/remediation plan. If the inspection is performed after closing, the inspection is free. If the inspection is performed before closing, the inspection is done at buyerâ€™s expense. The remediation service is free in the case of the former. I believe that the remediation service is also free in the case of the latter, but I am not sure. Both appear to involve a radon testing device that is mailed to the buyer.
With respect to â€œSubstancesâ€ other than radon, the Cartus contract advises that the buyer monitor the federal and state environmental protection agencies and cites the URL of the EPA.
The Cartus contract allows 10 days for the Buyer to do an inspection and send the results to Cartus, otherwise, Buyerâ€™s right to inspect and request repair is waived. Although radon is mentioned as one of the subjects of such an inspection, I am not sure how the radon inspection/remediation offer fits with the passages in the Cartus contract that deal with inspection.
All this seems harmless enough in and of itself. Remember, however, that even though the Cartus contract specifically states that all Cartusâ€™ obligations cease with conveyance of title, the buyerâ€™s obligation to indemnify and hold harmless (including attorneyâ€™s fees) Cartus and all prior owners should a claim be raised does not. It continues, as far as I can tell, forever.
This seems to put things in a different light. Certainly, accepting the Cartus radon inspection/remediation offer is now a must--even thought the buyer is responsible for the proper use of the mail-in collection device. Beyond that, however, just how far should the Buyer go in paying--whether before or after the inspection period--for a full environmental scan, monitoring the environmental protection websites and taking any remedial actions that they might suggest, regardless of how expensive or impractical those actions might be? I canâ€™t help worrying that the buyer will only know the answer to that question after the fact, i.e., after a claim is raised.
Again, it seems odd that the buyerâ€”a non-occupant non-owner who is even less knowledgeable than Cartus about the condition of the propertyâ€”should be asked to assume such risk. Shouldnâ€™t it be enough that Cartus conveys the property â€œas isâ€ and as a â€œnon-occupant owner and has no knowledge of this property"?