It is still Halloween for many of us. We still have Halloween candy. So this subject appeared in OmegaHome. “Would you be uncomfortable living in a home where someone recently died? If so, you’re not alone! Around 26% of participants in a Realtor.com survey indicated that they would not live in a home where someone died. Someone dying in a home is a very common example of a stigmatized property.
The spooky finding came from a recent survey of more than 1,000 consumers by Realtor.com. The survey found that 33 percent of respondents would be willing to live in a house that’s said to be haunted, while another 25 percent would consider the idea.
Houses in which murder or suicide happened or where there are rumors of haunts or poltergeists fall under the subject of stigmatized property. “Stigmatized properties are homes where a real or rumored event occurred that didn’t physically affect the property but could adversely impact its desirability.”
A seller must disclose in writing that there are no hidden defects in the home. The common law has, for decades, imposed duties on sellers of real estate, especially private houses. A realtor discloses to the buyer any material facts known to the seller affecting the value or desirability of the real estate for sale.
If you are a seller of a property where there was a gruesome murder or if you believe you own a haunted house, do you have an obligation to tell potential buyers? No, you don’t legally. The realtor representing the seller has a fiduciary duty to the seller. If the seller is adamant that the information about a haunted house stays hidden, you may not disclose that information. You may not want to represent the seller, however.
If you are the buyer, a stigmatized propertycould be a material fact in determining the house’s value. In this case, if you are a realtor representing the buyer, that kind of information should be shared. Without telling your buyer, you could be misrepresenting the property and lose the buyer’s trust.
Some realtors like to ask, half in jest, if there have been any murders or suicides on the property. If it is material and recent, the realtor should disclose the facts. The farther back in history, the event happened, the better for the seller. Hauntings and superstitions are of the kind that you had to be there to believe.
A realtor may regard the market’s aversion to crime scenes as temporary. For a time, the tragedy hammers the property’s value, making it impossible or difficult to sell. We recommend occupying the home or renting it out for two to five years.
Most states do not require the seller to disclose any events which may have stigmatized a property. Some states require you to reveal a death if it was due to the home’s condition, such as if someone dies of a carbon monoxide leak.
The National Association of Realtors states that their members should voluntarily disclose any facts which “could affect a reasonable purchaser’s decision to purchase.”
As investors, we are in business to make a modest profit on any deal. However, we can help homeowners out of just about any situation, no matter what! There are no fees, upfront costs, commissions, or anything else. We offer the simple truth about your home and how we can help you sell it fast to resolve any situation.
If you’d like to give us a ring, we would be more than happy to spend some time with you to help you understand the process and get all of your questions answered. You can reach us at 402 999.0577.