I found out by talking to the neighbor. So I am sure whoever would buy the property would eventually find out. I am contacting my attorney to find out if I must disclose. Regardless of his answer I believe I would disclose just to prevent possible future problems.
I am looking at purchasing a single family unit via a short sale. I want to buy, rehab and retail. Bank is willing to deal. The problem is that the wife hung herself in the garage 2 years ago. What are the legalities of disclosure when I sell and how difficult does this make it to move the house?
Thanks in advance for your response.
Here you have to disclose the suicide. Its actually a question on the disclosure form my real estate agent had me fill out when I sold my last house. If it were me, I would disclose that, “I had heard that three owner’s ago there MAY have been a suicide in the GARAGE.” Not in the house.
In my town, and many others in the northeast, the majority of houses are 60-120 years old. With properties this old, it’s probably a rare house where a death hasn’t occured, if you look back far enough.
Unless the circumstances were particularly heinous, such as an especially grusome murder, I doubt it’s really relevant – at least that’s the case in my area.
People die in houses all the time, I live in an area where 80-100 year old houses are normal, and if you think people haven’t died in them well you are naive.
Now, do suicides and murders affect the ability to move/sell a house?
The reality is yes, some people will be freaked by the fact someone died in the home, particularly under gruesome circumstances. However it doesn’t make a house unrentable or unsellable.
My first property was a home where the husband butchered the wife in front of their kids… a truly sad story. I had no idea when we made the offer and it was accepted this had happened, but found out before close… never really bothered me, but I do know some folks it freaks out.
Whether you ‘disclose’ or not, which frankly, I don’t see a suicide as being relevant in the sale really…but anyway.
Whether you disclose or not, you should deal with the neighbor.
Talk to the person who told you, and make it clear that yes, you are looking to buy the property.
Tell them your intentions, which are obviously one way or another going to be to find the ‘neighbor’ a nice new neighbor.
By them trumpeting to the world the horrible suicide news, you may be forced to just stick any-old not-so-qualified person(s) in there.
So, does he/she want to help find a nice ‘suitable’ neighbor, or keep telling stories about the house?
By the way, if your laws don’t state you must disclose, then I’d think heresay from a neighbor might not be worth repeating.
Especially in-light of the fact the seller in your transaction did not bring it up, or did they?
Anyway, make a BIG didcount deal, and the history of the house really should not matter.
You don’t say where you’re working, but in California the “Standard” (i.e., realtor’s) disclosure requires noting whether anyone has died in the house in the preceding 3 years. Since the disclosure is usually provided after the house is in escrow, and most offers around here are contingent on obtaining financing but not contingent on “Nobody hung themselves in the garage two years ago”, I wouldn’t expect it would make moving the house more difficult, but you never know. In my market, if I was selling a house with a recent suicide, I wouldn’t sweat it. If somebody wanted to back out of the deal after they got the disclosure, I wouldn’t even try to keep their deposit. SOMEBODY bought the house Nicole Simpson was murdered in, and that was a high-end property in a buyer’s market.
I checked with my attorney and he said that I don’t have to disclose (I am in Ohio). The person trying to sell didn’t know the owners wife committed suicide, so he did not mention it to me. Personally I think I would let any potential buyer know if I bought the house, rehabbed it and retailed it.
I have asked for a CONSIDERABLE discount in light of the recent revelations.
On a side note I asked a friend of mine that owns several nursing homes and dabbles in RE, if he would buy a home at a significant discount if he knew that someone committed suicide. He told me there was no way in hell he would buy knowing those details. I had to laugh telling him that he has residents that are dieing all the time. He said “thats right, and I would never sleep in any of my nursing homes”. Definitely did not vote in favor of buying.LOL.
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