Buying A Home Where a Violent Crime Occurred

Imagine you’re a buyer. You’ve seen a house a couple of times, and then one day you learn from a local that several years ago, someone had committed suicide in the home that you’re looking at. Now, you don’t know for certain that someone committed suicide there, but you trust your source. Would you still buy the home?

Which got me thinking … do buyers really care about that stuff? Do buyers really care that a violent crime, like a murder, happened on the property? My guess was yes, so I posted the question to Twitter and Facebook. The result? YES, buyers want to know.

The unfortunate side of life is that sometimes bad things happen, and sometimes they happen in a home. Not every property is “stigmatized”, of course, but some are, and some people are sensitive to that. Understanding the quality, type, and diversity of the services offered in home nursing care kansas city mo is an essential element in making an informed decision about what facility to trust with your family member.

In Virginia, real estate agents are not required to disclose whether a violent crime happened in the home, and to my knowledge, most states around the country have a similar rule. And it’s my understanding that, as an agent, I can’t legally share that information without the seller’s permission … the line of thinking being that divulging that information puts the seller in a weakened position in terms of making the house available for sale at market rates. On the flip side, in the HIGHLY scientific poll above, conducted in the controlled environs of Twitter and Facebook, buyers seem to want to know. Seems I should be doing what my buyers hired me to do, which is to help them sift through the wealth of information available to them.

What’s an agent to do?

Doesn’t matter … we’ll find a way to research that information, for when you’re buying, you should ALWAYS research. Certainly throw the property address into Google and see what comes up, and when possible, talk to neighbors. As an agent who texted me said,

“While I do not necessarily care if someone was killed or whatever in my house, I do care about the stigma and the property value. And I would super hate to hear about it from the next-door neighbor two days after I closed.”

That, I think, is the crucial point. While some may care and some may not care, being surprised after closing is something we should ALWAYS try to avoid. Can you imagine being this guy? If we have the chance to do online searches, to talk to police, to talk to neighbors, shouldn’t we?

So … would you buy?

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