You’re probably aware that you have to disclose any known physical issues with your house when you’re selling it—such as termites or a cracked foundation. But did you know you might have to disclose spiritual problems, as well? Seriously. You could call that property stigmatized property
There are instances where someone died violently, or some claim the house harbors ghosts. Houses like these 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 has an obligation to disclose in writing that there are no hidden defects in the home: “The umbrella of common law has for decades imposed duties on sellers of real estate, particularly residential real estate such as homes, to disclose to the buyer any material facts known to the seller affecting the value or desirability of the real estate being sold.”
If you are a seller of a property where there was a gruesome murder or if some believe the house is haunted, 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 not be disclosed, you may not you may not disclose that information. You may not want to represent the seller, however.
If you are the buyer, a stigmatized property could be a material fact in determining the value of the house. In this case, if you are a realtor representing the buyer, you must share that kind of information. 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.
The market’s aversion to crime scenes as temporary. For a time, the tragedy shakes the property’s value, making it impossible or difficult to sell. Some recommend occupying the home or renting it out for two to five years. But in time the house should sell close to market value.
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. Just the simple truth about your home and how we can help you sell it fast to resolve any situation.
Give us a call today at 260-202-2222 to let us know how we can help YOU.