How will you handle a stigmatized property disclosure of a former meth lab, pot farm, or drug crime site?
How do you protect your career, your reputation, your ethics and your clients?
“Stigmatized property disclosure laws vary considerably from state to state.
Agents who work in states that don’t offer specific legal guidelines face a tough dilemma.
There is very little case law dealing with disclosing information on stigmatized properties.
Disclosure decisions are even more difficult in cases where a sales associate is unable to verify the facts of a reported problem or even determine whether it occurred.
Even if your state has a statute that exempts you from having to disclose stigmatized property, these laws usually don’t prohibit disclosure.
And such a statute doesn’t allay the uncomfortable feeling that you’re “holding out” on your buyer clients. If you’re like most of the real estate salespeople I know, you’re torn between the fear of losing your buyer clients’ trust and that of facing a lawsuit from owners who don’t want the stigma disclosed.
The list of such dilemmas in this area is seemingly endless: As a seller’s agent, telling buyers about a property’s stigma without the seller’s permission could be a breach of fiduciary duty. But if the buyers you’re working with as customers ask you directly about a property stigma, you run the liability risk of misrepresentation if you fail to tell the truth about what you know.
As a buyer’s representative, you’d probably have a fiduciary obligation to inform your clients of anything you know about a property even if such disclosure is exempted by state law.” December 1, 2003 – Realtor Magazine, Author: Raine Zygmunt.
Help your clients understand the value of a drug test prior to closing. As a certified home inspector, I strongly recommend all homes be tested for the possibility of drug residue.