Tuesday, June 26, 2012

No Disclosure Obligation Selling "Murder" Houses

Did you know that there's no legal obligation to disclose to potential buyers that a murder (or other 'psychologically impactful' event) occurred in a home when listing it for sale?  According to THIS MSNBC article:

"Welcome to a macabre corner of American real estate, a legally gray, emotionally black sector governed by a mishmash of varying state laws that dictate whether agents must divulge that bad things went down in what the National Association of Realtors calls 'stigmatized properties.'"

"Only two states, Alaska and South Dakota, mandate that sellers’ agents reveal whether a homicide or suicide occurred at a listed home within the previous 12 months, according to NAR spokesman Walter Molony. In Connecticut, Delaware, New Hampshire, North Dakota and Oklahoma, if a prospective buyer asks about past bloodshed, real estate agents must truthfully answer the question."

This last sentence really startled me, because the implication is that, in 43 states, the seller (and/or their agent) can flat out lie about something like this, even when asked directly by a potential buyer.

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