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The Impact of a Death in the Home on Sales

By
Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Realty/Coldwell Banker Commercial NRT 30SA0872839 

The impact of a death in a home on sales can vary depending on several factors, including local laws and cultural attitudes. Here are some key considerations:

  1. Disclosure Laws: In many jurisdictions, sellers are legally required to disclose deaths that have occurred in a home within a certain timeframe, typically ranging from a few months to a few years. Failure to disclose such information can lead to legal issues and potential lawsuits. Buyers may also have the right to cancel a sale or renegotiate the terms if they discover that a death occurred in the home.

  2. Stigmatized Property: Homes where a death, particularly a violent or high-profile death, has occurred may be considered stigmatized properties. While there is no universally accepted definition of what constitutes a stigmatized property, some buyers may be hesitant to purchase a home with a dark history due to concerns about paranormal activity, negative energy, or resale value. As a result, stigmatized properties may take longer to sell and may sell for less than comparable properties without such histories.

  3. Buyer Perception: The impact of a death on sales can also depend on the perceptions and beliefs of potential buyers. Some buyers may be unfazed by the history of a home, particularly if they do not believe in superstitions or if the death was due to natural causes. Others may be more sensitive to such issues and may be reluctant to consider homes with a history of death.

  4. Market Conditions: The impact of a death on sales may also be influenced by broader market conditions, such as supply and demand dynamics, interest rates, and economic factors. In a hot seller's market with high demand and limited inventory, buyers may be more willing to overlook a home's history. Conversely, in a buyer's market with ample inventory and low demand, sellers may face greater challenges selling stigmatized properties.

  5. Mitigation Strategies: Sellers may employ various strategies to mitigate the impact of a death on sales, such as pricing the home competitively, disclosing the death upfront, staging the home to downplay any negative associations, and providing assurances about the home's condition and history.

Overall, the impact of a death in a home on sales can be complex and multifaceted, with legal, cultural, and psychological factors all playing a role. Sellers should be aware of their legal obligations regarding disclosure and consider how best to address any concerns or objections that potential buyers may have.

Michael Elliott
Fathom Realty - Burlington Township, NJ
Burlington, New Jersey Residential Sales

Some people care, some people do not.  Last time I checked, it was not required to disclose this in NJ.  

May 19, 2024 07:15 AM
Thomas Santore Lic Associate Real Estate Broker

Thank you,

Tom S

May 19, 2024 09:54 AM
Lorrie Semler, REALTOR® in the Dallas area. Call/text 972-416-3417
HomeSmart Stars - Addison, TX
Real Service. Real Results. Real Estate

In Texas, you only have to disclose a death in the home if the home somehow contributed to the death, i.e. carbon monoxide, a fall down the stairs, etc. Death from natural causes and murder do not HAVE to be disclosed, although some sellers disclose.

May 19, 2024 07:35 AM
Thomas Santore Lic Associate Real Estate Broker

Nice,

Thank you,

Tom S

May 19, 2024 09:53 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Good morning, Thomas... this is not a disclosure item in North Carolina. The only "rule" we have is, if asked, we cannot lie. I don't come across the issue often.

May 19, 2024 07:44 AM
Thomas Santore Lic Associate Real Estate Broker

Thank you,

Tom S

May 19, 2024 09:53 AM
Sham Reddy CRS
Howard Hanna RE Services, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH
CRS

Thanks for sharing Thomas. I don't think Ohio has any law like that. Its up to he buyer t find that out.

In many jurisdictions, sellers are legally required to disclose deaths that have occurred in a home within a certain timeframe, typically ranging from a few months to a few years. Failure to disclose such information can lead to legal issues and potential lawsuits. Buyers may also have the right to cancel a sale or renegotiate the terms if they discover that a death occurred in the home.

May 19, 2024 09:04 AM
Thomas Santore Lic Associate Real Estate Broker

Thank you,

Tom S

May 19, 2024 09:52 AM