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Tim Houterloot
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Discover The Home’s Past The Seller Won’t Tell You

Source: | Re-Post Houterloot 10/29/2018 – 

In the bewitching town of Salem, Mass., America’s original haunted city, we celebrate Halloween year-round. The site of the infamous Salem witch trials in the late 1600s, our rich history in the dark arts has become a tongue-in-cheek part of local life—even in real estate. Many homes here have spooky backstories or odd features that reflect the historic folklore of the area—like the one I recently toured during a broker’s open that had a hidden room reserved for black magic, complete with shrines and voodoo dolls. I’m no stranger to sensitively talking buyers and sellers through the sale of a home with bad juju.

But stigmatized properties, no matter where they’re located, aren’t always obvious. You might expect a seller or listing agent to reveal details about a home’s past that are pertinent to the sale, but they’re not always required to do so. Most states require sellers to disclose physical property defects, but a stigma—an intangible, often psychological effect—is a bit more nebulous. Many states don’t require the disclosure of a stigma, so your buyers may never know the house they bought was, say, the scene of a violent, gruesome crime until they hear it second-hand from neighbors after moving in. That can leave your clients with a serious case of buyer’s remorse, feeling uncomfortable with the place they call home.

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Posted on October 29, 2018 at 9:13 am by Tim Houterloot

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