Friday, November 23, 2012

A Few More Thoughts on On Dream Home as the Scene of a Crime

Yesterday, by pure accident, I stumbled upon an MLS property where the listing broker noted discreetly that the home had been the scene of a suicide. It was mentioned in a note to other agents, not visible to the general public.

I investigated a little further. Yup, the vendor noted the suicide in the vendor's declaration. Here's the interesting part. The suicide occurred before she bought the property. Date and details unknown.  That sent me scampering back through the previous MLS listings for this particular property (What can I say? It was a slow day and I didn't feel like vacuuming. Or folding laundry. Or raking leaves.)
None of the three previous listings mentioned the suicide, either in a note to other agents, or in the vendor's declaration.

It could be the the previous vendor verbally disclosed the suicide to the buyer. It is also possible that the info was written in the declaration but that the declaration was not posted to the MLS site.

I found it curious that the current seller has left an online signpost about the violent death, one that won't be easily erased. From now on, the house's sad history will be there for brokers to see. She gets points for honesty, though I suspect that honesty might make it harder to sell her house.


  1. Nice post, good topic, but I think you're greatly overestimating the issue.

    People die in every pre-owned house in a lot of ways. It has no bearing on what happens when you live there.

    In the USA there's a hodgepodge of laws from state to state concerning disclosure but I've never found a case in the files of a lawsuit asking for material damages from such a failure to disclose in Kweebeck.

    Unless there was a Jim Jones-type body count inside the house I wouldn't be bothered a tiny bit by what happened before.

  2. Surely as a realtor you're not allowed to disclose any information about this topic.

  3. Hi David, In Quebec, where I am licensed not only am I allowed to disclose but I am obliged to disclose this kind of information. I could be sued by the buyers and sanctioned by the real estate regulator if it was found that I had withheld the information.


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