How to unveil property stigmas for your clients

Photo by Marvin Esteve on Unsplash

To provide your clients with a full picture of a home they’re considering, it can be worth it to investigate the (potentially unsavory) past of a property. This article provides some tips if you’re helping clients in a state where the burden is on buyers to ask the right questions. Disclosure laws vary by state, but The Oregonian recently published an article on the topic related to the laws in Oregon. 

Dana Bull | REALTOR Magazine

In the bewitching town of Salem, Mass., America’s original haunted city, we celebrate Halloween year-round. The site of the infamous Salem witch trials in the late 1600s, our rich history in the dark arts has become a tongue-in-cheek part of local life—even in real estate. Many homes here have spooky backstories or odd features that reflect the historic folklore of the area—like the one I recently toured during a broker’s open that had a hidden room reserved for black magic, complete with shrines and voodoo dolls. I’m no stranger to sensitively talking buyers and sellers through the sale of a home with bad juju.

But stigmatized properties, no matter where they’re located, aren’t always obvious. You might expect a seller or listing agent to reveal details about a home’s past that are pertinent to the sale, but they’re not always required to do so. Most states require sellers to disclose physical property defects, but a stigma—an intangible, often psychological effect—is a bit more nebulous. Many states don’t require the disclosure of a stigma, so your buyers may never know the house they bought was, say, the scene of a violent, gruesome crime until they hear it second-hand from neighbors after moving in. That can leave your clients with a serious case of buyer’s remorse, feeling uncomfortable with the place they call home.

To read the article in full, click here: Discover the Home’s Past the Seller Won’t Tell You