Why Didn't You Tell Me the Guy Died in This House?
That is the question I was asked by my buyer that now owns a house in which the previous owner had passed away. My response was this...Because I didn't know. I went on to further explain to Mr. Buyer that in Colorado, the seller doesn't have to disclose whether someone died in the house. Certainly if I had known, I would have told my buyer. In this case it was a natural death.
In Colorado agents are required to disclose material defects about the property. Unless something physically affects the property it doesn't have to be disclosed. A natural death isn't a material defect. Any psychological impacts are not considered material defects.
I don't know if the seller's agent knew about the death, but I do know that agent wasn't breaking any rules if her sellers asked her not to disclose this bit of information. The Colorado listing agreement states the listing broker must not disclose facts or suspicions regarding circumstances that could psychologically impact or stigmatize the property. As a listing agent you can disclose this information only if the seller gives you permission to do so.
Certain events that happened can stigmatize a property. This can include a naturally occurring death, murder, suicide, crimes, cult activity, rumors of a haunted house and the presence of sex offenders in the neighborhood. In Colorado these events aren't considered a material defect, and the seller isn't required to disclose them.
Now keep in mind the laws and rules vary from state to state. This is the law in Colorado. For more information on this topic consult an attorney that specializes in real estate related matters.
I've lived on Colorado's Western Slope for over 26 years. I love this area and all it has to offer, and I enjoy sharing what I know about my home. As a REALTOR®, I also love to share my expertise in this area as well. If you need real estate information for Montrose County, or Delta County, Colorado...please give me a call.