Does a seller have to tell you about a death in the house?

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Does a seller have to tell you about a death in the house?

On Behalf of | Dec 4, 2019 | real estate transactions

When you want to buy a new home in Illinois, you expect that the seller will tell you about anything wrong with the house. In fact, there are laws that require sellers to disclose certain things about a property to potential buyers. Generally, this is for health and safety. However, not everything you may want to know is something a seller must tell you.

One of the things about a house that may disturb you is if someone died there. Regardless of the way the person died, you may feel a bit uneasy about buying a home where there was a death. According to Illinois Realtors, sellers do not have to tell you about this type of situation because it does not have a physical impact on the property.

Subjective issue

A death in the home may bother some buyers, but others may not find it an issue. It is subjective, and therefore, not something the law requires the seller to disclose. It has no impact on the health or safety of the home. In real estate terms, professionals call this a stigma. Stigmas may bother some people, but not necessarily everyone. They also pose no risks to the buyer.

Figuring it out

The issue with stigmas is that you can usually uncover them. If there was a murder in the home, for example, you can do a little research and find that out. Even if someone just died in their bed of natural causes, the neighbors may have some information.

Still, the seller can choose not to share this information. He or she may instruct the realtor not to tell you, even if you ask. Unless it is public information and well-known, the realtor must abide by the seller’s request.

If you have serious concerns about buying a home where someone died, then it is up to you to do the research. It is not likely that sellers will eagerly share that information.

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