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Do you need to inform the house buyer that someone was murdered in the home?

In Reed v King, Reed bought a house from King and after moving in Reed hears from his neighbour that 10 years ago there had been a murder. Reed does some research and finds out that this is true. King and his real estate agent knew about this but did not tell Reed. Reed sues that the property value is lower than the original because of the history of the property.

My question is how long must a murder occur because you need to disclose it? For example 10 years? 20 years? 50 years?

Also would the real estate agent be liable? This case was Reed suing the owner but what if the real estate agent did not disclose the information?

Another question is to what degree of crime do you need to report it? Lets say your house got robbed, do you need to tell the home buyer this? Lets say a pedophile lived in the house? Should you inform the buyer?

4 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Murder, sex, robbery etc are all not things that are material or latent defects to the home. None of these things affect the structural integrity of the home, or any health related issues (ie: if the seller knows there's asbestos or black mold etc). Also, you will be surprised that some homes where famous murders or ghost sightings have taken place has actually INCREASED the value of the home because a lot of believers will pay just about anything to say they live in the home that X murdered Y.

    There is no legal requirement to disclose any such events. Any judge who agrees with the plaintiff on this will have his/her judgment reversed when it's appealed. No one, seller or agents, can be held liable in non-disclosure since this is not deemed critical or legally required by law.

    Should you inform the buyer that you had lots of sex on a certain portion of the carpet? No. Should you inform the buyer that someone used to snort cocaine in the living room? No. Should you inform the buyer that your father-in-law who was convicted and served time in prison for murder, rape and robbery lived in the home? No. Why? NONE of these things is relevant to the sale of the home, or the home's property value.

    Source(s): realtor
  • 1 decade ago

    It may depend on state's real estate laws.

    Unless the real estate agent was REQUIRED to disclose that kind of information, I don't see how they can be held liable. Of course, if they were asked about any murders that took place in the home, then they'd be required inform but otherwise, no.

  • 1 decade ago

    People are SO "SUE HAPPY". That's ridiculous. If my grandma passed away in her house and my family sells it do we have to disclose that too? What difference does it make if there is no permanent physical damage to the property? The only other thing that could matter is the local crime rate for the area and that is public knowledge. I can't believe the ludicrous things people will try to sew for if they think they might get some money, right or wrong.

  • 1 decade ago

    Don't feed the trolls

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