Did a murder happen in your home? Was your home formally used as a “grow-op” or “meth lab”? Have there been any past insurance claims on your home for issues such as water damage or fire? These are questions that should be addressed before a home is put on the market, but unless a seller is questioned directly about such issues, it is unlikely this information will be shared.
Under a Realtors® Code of Ethics, if they know about a death, grow-op or other negative history of a home which may affect the value of a property, they must disclose this information to a potential buyer. However, if the agent is unaware of any negative history of the home, there is nothing to disclose.
We found a great article written by Mark Weisleder (Real Estate Lawyer, Author, Speaker) for the Toronto Star entitled “How to find if a murder happened in your home” addressing this subject. We thought that others may be curious as to how to find information about the history of a home they may be interested in purchasing.
Mark Weisleder reports that more and more people are turning to the internet to try and find information. He states “Buyers and Real Estate Agents are going to www.homeverified.ca and www.iverify.com to see whether a property was ever listed as a grow house or meth lab and whether a prior owner had made an insurance claim on the property for fire or water damage, or sewage backup”. He also references another internet site – www.housecreep.com – which is a relatively new website developed by two brothers in Toronto where someone can enter the address of a home to see whether a crime, murder or grow op has been reported on the property. According to him the website claims to have a database of over 2000 properties and continues to grow every day. He states “The website invites other parties to share information about properties as well. They (the brothers) then try to verify everything through newspaper reports”. He also advises “Users should beware that some of the information may not be accurate and should be independently verified”.
Mark Weisleder ends his article by saying “With more and more information becoming available on the internet, I encourage sellers and real estate agents to disclose these types of property stigmas. It will come out eventually. Who needs to go to court to fight about it later?"
To read Mark Weisleder’s entire article, click here.
We hope that you find this blog interesting and informative. As always, if you or someone you care about is thinking of making a move or if you just want some general information about the Real Estate market in your area, please don’t hesitate to give us a call, we would love to talk to you!
Until next time,
The Jamie Dann Team