Is MURDER a material fact?
I say “YES”!
In Florida, Real Estate Agents do not have to disclose a murder.
As a Florida Realtor Attorney (name withheld) says, that is because “Murder, suicide or another disturbing act is not a material fact.”
I disagree…a lot
I say that “MURDER” is a material fact. Absolutely! I also disagree with the attorney’s newspaper opinion that “stigmatized properties are gaining popularity”.
If that were true, stigmatized properties would not be selling at a discount. “Murder” or “Suicide” homes do take longer to sell and do sell for less…unless the unsuspecting home buyer does not know about it. I don’t doubt that some agents would keep that a secret.
What is a material fact?
A material fact in Real Estate is defined as a fact that, if known, may cause a buyer of real estate to make a different decision with regards to considering buying a home or remaining in a contract or paying the same price. It is a fact that if known, would reasonably result in a home buyer making a different decision. A material fact does not have to be something you can see or touch.
Material fact can be anything
Home buyers with children eliminate homes in school districts with “F” rated schools. This is a material fact that creates significant influence on a home buyers decision.
Anyone selling real estate knows that low school scores result in lower priced homes. “A” rated school communities are typically in demand and priced accordingly. This is something that you cannot feel or touch, yet this is a material fact that usually is a show stopper for families with children.
The majority of my clients would not be interested in viewing a home where a murder occurred…and if I know about a murder or suicide, you better believe that I will tell all.
What else the Florida Realtor Attorney says…
The Florida Realtor Attorney goes on the say “It (murder) is not seen as a physical aspect like the roof, plumbing or foundation.”
Of course not, because a MATERIAL FACT does not need to be ONLY something physical. It can be anything that makes a home buyer uncomfortable enough to make them want to change their mind. Anything that is so important that it influences their decision.
What home buyers think about murder
I will bet money that most home buyers will accept a leaky roof over a family murder in the home. A leak can be fixed. A killing cannot be erased.
My experience also tells me that my home buying clients would stay away from a murder house no differently than they would not want to build a home next to a lot that has a sink hole.
My duties of full disclosure
As an Exclusive Buyers Agent, I have the highest duty of trust for my clients. I owe my buyers full disclosure along with my fiduciary duties of total loyalty and confidentiality.
IT IS MY DUTY TO TELL MY BUYER CLIENTS EVERYTHING THAT MAY BE A TURNOFF TO THEM. (unless that disclosure violates the law, which in this case, it does not.)
Home buyers are lucky to find us and be able to trust that we will provide full disclosure. For no secrets call Buyers Broker of Florida 407-539-1053.