“Would you buy a house knowing that a murder took place behind its door?”
This question arose when I saw not one, but two local homes that are currently on the market that were scenes of a domestic disturbance that resulted in murder. One was a double homicide of a mother and daughter. The other was a set up gone wrong. The point of me asking wasn’t to rehash what the community involved previously went through, but could you do it? And should it be disclosed?
In the state of New Jersey, Realtors are not legally held accountable to disclose such information, but ethically, well, that’s a whole other ball of wax. Legally, we can’t disclose to prospective buyers if sex offenders are living in the area. There are many outlets you can research yourself on this matter, although if an offender is released, then the local police are required to alert the residents within a one-mile radius, along with stats and present tier. But why does such viable safety information fall into the “sshh I have a secret” category?
Most of the comments I received were a resounding “HELL NO!” I agree, I couldn’t do it. I am believer in the supernatural, so when it’s hard enough to get used to a new neighborhood, I’m pretty confident that I don’t want to add ghosts to the welcome wagon. I wouldn’t care how below-market-value the property has been listed; it’s bad energy. Now, the Realtor DID disclose that this was the house that was the scene of a domestic altercation, and anyone in the general vicinity is fully aware of just what that altercation was. As a prospective buyer, wouldn’t you want your Realtor to inform you of this? My parents almost bought a home in which a suicide took place. The Pope could have blessed the house himself and it still would have spooked them to live there (although my dad would never admit it).
It really is a tough call for the firm representing the sale of the property. The goal is to procure buyers, not steer them away, and as a Realtor, steering is legally and ethically against our code. But in my opinion, I fully believe that such information should be disclosed no if’s, and’s or but’s. It’s ethically responsible and the Buyer can be fully informed.
And no, neither of the addresses were numbered 666.