What is your due diligence in regards to Sex Offenders?

Real Estate Agent with Gibbs Realty and Auction Company 81147

How far should you go?


Scenario #1: You are under a listing agreement with Client A. After listing the property you become aware of a sex offender living in the home next door. 


ABC Agency calls wanting to show your listing, do you make the agent aware of the sex offender living next door so that they can tell there client or do you trust that they have done there job and given there client the required  Sex Offender Registry disclosure to verify the information themselves? 


What if a customer calls you direct about the same listing, do you handle it the same way?


Scenario #2: You have entered into a Buyer Agency agreement with Client A and have provided the required discolsure in reference to the Sex Offender Registry that directs them to the local sex offender website for more information. Client A wishes to view a property that you know has a sex offender residing next door.  Do you share this information with your client or have you already done your due diligence by providing the sex offender disclosure?



Comments (17)

Malcolm Johnston
Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario - Trenton, ON
Trenton Real Estate

I guess I would just really hope that I never have to be in that situation.

Feb 20, 2010 05:37 AM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

Laura, I live in an area in which sex predators are prevalent, have for 30 years. This is due to a state run psychiatric hospital being within 2 miles from my front door. After much research I have found that many websites purporting to be accurate are very much inaccurate in tracking these persons. These offenders are very mobile. I have found that these websites are outdated or more interested in selling other services than protecting the public. I actually worked for a client that was a level 2 sex offender and couldn't find his name in any registry. I found it out from a police officer and asked my client point blank, face to face to get the answer... I don't know if I would feel comfortable pointing fingers per this reason...
Have a great day my friend,

Feb 20, 2010 06:02 AM
Nick T Pappas
Assoc. Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, Broker/Providence Property Mgmnt, LLC Huntsville AL - Huntsville, AL
Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource

Laura, here in Alabama there are no laws currently on the books regarding real property disclosure forms.  Of course if a latent material fact is known then it must be disclosed.  It is my understanding, particularly if representing the seller, that I can not disclose a near by registered sex offender.  Even if I suggested that the buyers check the national sex offender registry, I could be considered as not acting in my clients best interest.  However, if  representing the buyer I always have them check the registry.  With all that said; if I were representing the seller and a young couple with kids wanted the house...my morals would dictate that I find a way to make the buyers aware.  Although Alabama is Caveat Emptor...I believe we are on the way to full disclosure.

I also have a Brokers license in Illinois and full disclosure is in force:

Megan's Law - Megan's Law was enacted to notify buyers and tenants about the proximity of registered sex offenders. The law requires every purchase contract and lease agreement to contain specific written notice that a database containing information about registered sex offenders may be accessed by buyers and tenants. This disclosure is required for every lease or real property sales contract for residential real property entered into on or after July 1, 1999.

Feb 20, 2010 06:31 AM
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker

I would encourage a seller to make the disclosure (if they and I knew).  If they would not I would not take the listing.

Feb 20, 2010 06:37 AM
Bob & Carolin Benjamin
Benjamin Realty LLC - Gold Canyon, AZ
East Phoenix Arizona Homes

This likely varies state to state as to the responsibility of the agent.

Feb 20, 2010 10:11 AM
Joan Zappa
Eagles Wings Realty - Montrose, CO
Professional treatment of our clients, brings awes

We also have Megan's law. We tell clients to contact either the sheriff's office or local police station to get that type of information.

Feb 20, 2010 11:15 AM
TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc.
Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029

OOH!! Touchy subject especially if you have kids. You can call the PD and get information here too...

Helping you help others live their American dream...

Feb 20, 2010 08:10 PM
Yvette Chisholm
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. - Rockville, MD
Associate Broker - Rockville, MD 301-758-9500

It is always a good idea for people to check the registries and with the local police department.  In VA, there is a Megan's Law disclosure....in other jurisdictions that I work, the disclosures that the buyer should look into this isn't as noticable.  People have to decide for themselves.  I always tell them to check where they live now to compare.

Feb 21, 2010 05:33 AM
Ann Allen Hoover
RE/MAX Advantage South - Hoover, AL
CDPE SRES ASP e-PRO Realtor - Homes for Sale - AL

I'm going to ask this question in our team meeting next week to see how our agents are handling it.

Feb 26, 2010 06:08 AM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

WE miss you I hope you are OK...

Mar 18, 2010 06:38 AM
Russell Lewis
Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate - Austin, TX

Just dropped by to see how things were going in your part of the world!

As others have mentioned I just hope I am never in this situation. Didclose Disclose Disclose!

Apr 26, 2010 11:50 PM
Mark Ilderton
Exit Real Estate Consultants - Columbia, SC
RE Agent - Columbia South Carolina Real Estate

Hey Laura,

It's my feeling that you should disclose if you have the knowledge. I would cancel the listing if the seller disagree's. This is a tough position to be in and I want to sleep good at night instead worrying about withholding this type of information.

May 09, 2010 07:42 PM
Mark Lebkuchner / Home Loan Specialist
Warwick, RI

This is a tough situation.  How far does the agent's responsibility go?  Sex offender information is public record.

Jul 18, 2010 06:53 AM
Tom Braatz Waukesha County Real Estate 262-377-1459
Coldwell Banker - Oconomowoc, WI
Waukesha County Realtor Real Estate agent. SOLD!


Wow, does this hit home. I just had a scenario that put me in a strange position where the owner of a home I had for sale put a tenant in it that did time for hurting a child.

Jan 25, 2011 01:10 PM
Bret & Meredith Amon
LIV-Sotheby's International Realty - Breckenridge, CO
Breckenridge, Keystone, Silverthorne, Frisco,

Somthing to think about if your  a buyers agent that is for sure.



Oct 10, 2011 07:11 AM
Not a real person
San Diego, CA

If I knew it, I would disclose it. However, for something like that, I would disclose it in writing so that there are no emotions involved.


Oct 17, 2011 08:07 AM
Pete Xavier
Investments to Luxury - Pacific Palisades, CA
Outstanding Agent Referrals-Nationwide

This is a situation I hope I don't get into but I would fully disclose with my client.

Nov 16, 2012 02:25 PM