Sex Offender lives in Neighborhood, Must a Seller Disclose?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Robert Ratliff Realty 492107

Sex Offender lives in Neighborhood, Must a Seller Disclose?


Working with a buyer several years ago our buyers wanted to know if a sex offender lived in the neighborhood they were looking to move. As a professional I told them I would give them a website link where they could research for themselves.


Under the code of criminal procedure (Article 62.056) it states: An owner, builder, seller, or lessor of a single-family residential real property or any improvement to residential real property or that person’s broker, salesperson, or other agent or representative in a residential real estate transaction does not have a duty to make a disclosure to a prospective buyer or lessee about registrants (“Sex offenders”) under this chapter.


Disclosure, disclosure, disclosure is what we’re taught in our real estate practices. Would you as a real estate professional disclose you know of a sex offender living in a neighborhood your buyer are moving to. Our buyers had a four year old child and this was a priority for them to know. Even though it is not against the law to disclose, I personally would disclose if I knew there was a sex offender living in the neighborhood and my buyer asked.


Our due diligence is to protect our fiduciary and put their needs first.

Sex offender lives in the neighborhood, must a seller disclose?
(No) but it makes sense to disclose if a seller knows that one might live in the area. Click on this link to "Megans Law".

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Texas law requires Agents to give the following Information About Brokerage Services (IABS)to prospective buyers, sellers, tenants, and landlords.  Information About Brokerage Services


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Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning Bob - It certainly is good due dilegence to disclose this for the sake of safety.

Oct 15, 2018 04:21 AM #1
Amanda S. Davidson
Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group Brokered By eXp Realty - Ashburn, VA
Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale

Bob, I think it's good practice to provide resources such as a website for buyers to be able to look up sex offender info. I'd disclose if I knew about one but, there are so many registered that I encourage buyers to do their research so that they can determine what they're comfortable with. Great topic. 

Oct 15, 2018 05:39 AM #2
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Bob. This is a good post and honest. In New Jersey where I am still licensed a seller can not disclose.

Oct 15, 2018 05:39 AM #3
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Good morning Bob.  No need to disclose in Florida, though people can look it up as this is publicly available.  Though, most so-called sex offenders are not dangerous and don't pose any threat.

Oct 15, 2018 05:56 AM #4
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Since you represent the seller, it seems to me that you would need his/her permission to directly disclose. However, giving buyers the link to the database is always smart.

Years ago that information wasn't public. We had a suspicion about someone who made us nervous, and the cops told us we could get the information, but it cost $5 and the person in question would be notified that we'd asked.

I was glad when it went public. That said, one day I decided to check our small town and found there were many more than I had expected. Even more startling - a couple of hours later I went to the grocery store, and there visiting in the entryway was one of the people I'd seen on that website.

Oct 15, 2018 08:32 AM #5
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

If I know about it I DO disclose.  In our contracts in Minnesota, there are several spots where the BUYER(s)  gets phone numbers and web sites to check for themselves.   I ask sure I get at least one spot initialed that they have seen this info.

Oct 15, 2018 09:11 AM #6
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

In our business it is best for us to direct people where to research for themselves, rather than being the source, as it only opens us up to more liability.  I agree with Gabe Sanders that most so-called sex offenders are not dangerous and don't pose any threat.  I know that people have to register as a sex offender if they are arrested for "mooning" someone while they are in high school or college or if they are arrested for "relieving themselves" on the side of the road behind a tree.

Oct 15, 2018 09:13 AM #7
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

In North Carolina this is not something you disclose. As you point out in your article if the buyer is concerned about possible sex offenders in the area there are several websites they can go to and find out for themselves. No harm in pointing them that way.

Oct 15, 2018 02:13 PM #8
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
RE/MAX Northwest. - Tacoma, WA
Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority!

 I used to live in a neighborhood that was prone for sex offenders being released into halfway houses by the wonderful state of Washington. It was almost impossible to track where the sex offenders would move on a monthly basis Bob Ratliff 

Oct 15, 2018 11:02 PM #9
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

In out area, agents usually provide the website for searches.


Oct 16, 2018 08:10 AM #10
Elisa Uribe Realtor #01427070
Golden Gate Sotheby's International - Oakland, CA
California Homes for Sale in the East Bay

Yes, same here. It's best to provice them the resource so they can go and check for themselves. Here in CA, it is one of the disclosure items

Nov 14, 2018 01:49 PM #11
Lisa Friedman
Great American Dream Realty - Essex, VT
29 Years of Real Estate Experience!

In 30 years in the business I have never been asked this question. 

Nov 14, 2018 09:42 PM #12
Debra Leisek
Bay Realty,Inc Homer Alaska - Homer, AK

our contracts have the link they need to check and a time frame your buyer can choose how long they need for due diligence.  I'm sure each state has its own regulations you should follow


Nov 15, 2018 12:03 AM #13

Must! Due to sex crimes, the number of abandoned children, suicide and HIV infection increases (therefore, it is necessary to use special tablets )

Feb 20, 2019 06:22 AM #14
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