When my mother's health was in a major decline, she did not want to go to a hospital or nursing home. She knew (at least on some level) that she wasnt' going to be around much longer, and she wanted to be at home when the end came. And we honored her wishes.
A few months after she passed, we listed the house, and during the first week or so that the house was on the market, a prospective buyer wanted to make an offer. When she learned that the sale was to settle an estate, she asked if the seller had died in the house. I sent the listing agent an email to pass onto the buyer explaining that yes. My mother died in the house, peacefully and surrounded by children and grandchildren who loved her. I explained that she basically died of very old age, and she had had a wonderful life in this house. Alas, the buyer had a thing about this particular issue, and she decided against the house.
And it reminded me of a transaction I had back in the '80s. It was the stone house on the right. And it had been owned by a lovely elderly gentleman who always wore (at least in the winter time), a cashmere coat and bowler hat, and every day he took a walk through the neighborhood into his 90's. For many decades, he served as the president of the neighborhood association.
Then one day, he didn't take his walk, and people noticed. A neighbor had a key, and he went into the house and found that he had died peacefully in his sleep.
One of my investor clients bought the house from the estate, and I worked with him to get it removated and back on the market. And he gave me strict instructions to put on the fact sheet that this lovely old gentleman had passed in the house.
At the first Open House (for neighbors only on Saturday), a bunch of the neighborhood little old ladies dropped by. They all had had crushes on him and may have, um, dated him? OK, and at the time they were probably the same age that I am now.
And several of them said, "Honey, there's no ghost here! He's moved on!"
And at the second Open House for the public the next day, the couple who bought the place thought it was a very good sign that the previous owner had died in his sleep in his own home in his 90's.
So what am I saying here?
If you have an elderly parent who is in failing health, and if they want to opt for home hospice, I think you owe it to them to honor their wishes. But there are some people who come from cultures where it's not cool to live in a house where someone has died. They don't care that the seller lived for 200 years old and had a wonderful life and won a Nobel Prize for Peace and a Pulitzer for a the novel of the century. They don't notice that the house has a great vibe and that Elvis (or in this case, Alice) has left the building.
But I gotta say, the people who eventually bought my mom's house didn't even ask. If they had, I would have sent them the same email that I sent to the first buyer, and I doubt that it would have mattered. Oh! And I'm sure that my morther would have loved them.
If you are planning a move to or from the Washington area, I can help. I am licensed in DC, Maryland and Virginia. Please email me at Housepat@mac.com or call 202-549-5167.