Florida says no. In Florida, agents do not have to disclose a murder because as an attorney (name withheld) with the Florida Realtors says:
"Murder, suicide or another disturbing act is not a material fact"
I disagree. In fact, after 25 years of representing ONLY home buyers I vehemently disagree. I say that murder is a material fact, and should be labeled as such.
I also disagree with the attorney's newspaper opinion that "stigmatized properties are gaining popularity". If they are popular, why then, do they sell for less?
For sure "murder or suicide homes" do sell for less and take longer to sell...unless no one has told the home buyer about it. I am sure that some agents would keep that a secret.
First of all what is a material fact?
A material fact in real estate is well-defined as a fact that, if known, might have caused a buyer of real estate to make a different decision with regards to considering buying a home or remaining in a contract or paying the same price. It is a fact, that if known,would reasonably result in a homebuyer making a different decision. A material fact does not have to be something that you can see or touch.
Home buyers with children will eliminate homes in school districts with "F" rated schools. Anyone selling real estate knows that homes with low school scores are always priced lower than communities with "A" rated schools. That is something that you cannot touch or feel, yet this material fact is usually a show-stopper for those with families.
I can also say with certainty that the majority of my clients would not even be interested in viewing a home where a murder occured...and If I know about a murder or suicide, you better believe that I will tell everything I know.
The Florida Realtor attorney goes on to say "It (murder) is not seen as a physical aspect like the roof plumbing or foundation" Of course not. A Material fact does not need to be only something physical. It can be anything that makes the buyer uncomfortable enough to make them want to change their mind. ANYTHING!
Besides, I will bet money that most home buyers will accept a leaky roof over a family murder in the home. A leak can be fixed. A killing cannot be erased.
I know from experience that my home buying clients would stay away from a murder house no differently than they would not want to build a home next to a lot that has a sink hole.
I also believe that as an Exclusive Buyers Agent I have the highest duty of trust for my clients. I owe my buyers full disclosure along with my fiduciary duties of total loyalty and confidentiality. IT IS MY JOB TO TELL MY BUYER CLIENTS EVERYTHING THAT MAY BE A TURNOFF TO THEM. (unless of course, that disclosure violates the law, which in this case it does not)
Seriously, homebuyers are lucky to find us and be able to trust that we will give them full disclosue. For no secrets call Buyers Broker of Florida 407-539-1053.