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Non Disclosure of Double Murder Gets Seller's and Realtor Sued
What?!? A double murder in 1996 and this couple didn't know about it BEFORE they bought the house?
Whoa! Ok...there are a ton of issues on this one, so let's get started.
First...if you haven't read the article or heard about this yet then go ahead and read about this couples ordeal here. Just make sure you come back!
Ok now that you've had a chance to read the article, what do you think (leave me some comments below)?
My opinion is that the buyer's may potentially have a case here. However is the double murder a 'Material Latent Defect'? No.
A Material Defect has something to do with the property that could potentially do harm not only to the home but also the new buyer's. The seller's would know about said defect and would have covered it up.
In this case, it seems, living in a home where a double murder occured is causing the couple undue stress. As a result they are suing everybody involved...The REALTOR, the Agents company, the seller's...it is a shot gun blast effect. Do they have a case? Maybe. Simply because the seller made the REALTOR® aware of what happened 16 years ago. If a judge finds they do, it would certainly set a precedent in Canada.
What did they do Wrong?
You knew this was coming right? First off, they should have done their due diligence. Wait, ok, what about the REALTOR®that was representing them? Yup, they should have done some digging as well.
What do I mean? How about a simple Google search on the address. You search an address online and you would be amazed at what will come up on that home. Do you homework BEFORE you spend $250,000!
Second, they should have asked some questions....Ok, maybe the first thing that comes to peoples minds to ask aren't "Has anyone ever died in the home?". I know it never has crept into my mind.
But how about a question like,"Mr/Mrs. Selling Agent, what can you tell me about the home? Is there anything that my clients should be told about the home or area before they make an offer?"
What did we learn?
Number 1: It pays to hire the right Agent
Number 2: Ask as many questions as possible...It could wind up hurting you in the long run
Number 3: ALWAYS do your homework! A simple Google Search will tell you a ton of info on a home
Number 4: Disclosure is typically on things that could be costly to repair. Ask the seller to disclose any info that could hinder you from pursuing an offer.