After moving into our house, a neighbor told us that a few years before a man had committed suicide in the kitchen. We would not have purchased our home had we known this had happened in the house. Do we have any recourse other than simply selling the house and moving on or accepting what happened and making the best of it? Surely someone should have told us about what happened!
William, Grand Junction
I am sure the news came as a shock to you and your family and I have no doubt that it may make it more difficult to live there, knowing what happened in the home. Unfortunately, in your case, Colorado has no requirement to disclose such details about any property being sold. Under an Exclusive Right-To-Sell Listing Contract, Section 5.2.5 deals with situations like this. It specifically states the broker shall NOT disclose “any facts or suspicions regarding circumstances that could psychologically impact or stigmatize the property”, without the informed consent of the seller.
It is at the sole discretion of the seller to disclose or not to disclose. It is likely that your agent did not have any knowledge of the act and quite possible that the listing agent did not know. Even if the listing agent had knowledge, he/she can not disclose it without the seller’s consent. Bottom line, if the seller chooses not to disclose, it is highly likely a buyer would not find out till after the fact.
I believe the intent is to not stigmatize a property because of a senseless act that was not the “fault” of the home and thus seriously impact the marketability and value of the home. You will have to decide what is best for you and your family and I would remind you that you do not have to disclose what happened if you choose to sell. My suggestion would be to make the best of it. It is you chance to give this home a “second chance” at being a happy home and making it a home that is filled with peace and love and turning a bad past into a bright future!! A home is what you make of it, moving forward, not what happened in the past. Obviously you will choose which way to proceed, but you might find it an opportunity for your family to choose a path of healing and turn the page on a past which was filled with hopelessness and fill it with hope.
I hope this helps and I will bet you can give this home a new start!!
The Kimbrough Team
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