${site.data.firmName}${SEMFirmNameAlt}

Buyer Beware - Must Home Sellers Reveal Psychological Stigmas?

Haunted houses, home meth labs, murder scenes - Some buyers might not care if the real estate they bought has a shady past. Others won't touch such properties, even at a sale price. Ontario laws include rules on what home sellers must disclose to prospective buyers. Are psychological stigmas included? What action can buyers with the heebie-jeebies take to avoid investing in "undesirable" property?

Defects That Sellers Must Disclose

In brief, the law says that sellers must disclose defects that make a property pose a serious health or safety threat to the buyer. These might include such defects as toxic mould due to a history of flooding or a structural defect that could lead to collapse.

The law does not require sellers to reveal psychological stigmas, past or present that may be attached to a home. These can encompass activities and attributes of a non-physical nature that, if known, could turn buyers away cold and for reasons that may be purely psychological - even if there's nothing physically wrong with the appearance or function of the property itself.

This could include:

  • Paranormal activity
  • Prostitution houses, marijuana grow-ops or seedy business operations
  • The scene of a suicide, murder or violent crime
  • Residency by notorious public figures

Measure To Avoid Buying A House Of Infamy

Sellers are not obliged to reveal psychological stigmas, but buyers can still takes steps to avoid inadvertently purchasing a house that they may never end up calling home. Here's how:

  • Tell your agent - Make sure your rep knows not only what you want, but what you absolutely do not want in a prospective property. Don't assume. Be specific. Make your criterion clearly known.
  • Ask the seller outright - Listing agents may have been instructed by the client to remain tight lipped, but if an agent refuses to cooperate, this could be an early red flag signalling the need for investigation.
  • Do your own research - Google the address, talk to the neighbours, search news archives. You may dig up findings that influence your buying decision.

In the end, the onus is on buyers to ensure that their purchase is a right fit. Stay wary. Inform yourself. Become a savvy buyer - your purchase may bring you years of enjoyment rather than regret.

Buying or selling? Call us.

Our lawyers can help.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

shameless self promotion

  • Quinn Ross Takes Office As President Of The Ontario Bar Association

    The Ontario Bar Association (OBA) is pleased to announce Quinn Ross as the 83rd President of the OBA.

    Ross, Managing Partner of The Ross Firm, with offices in Goderich, Kincardine and Stratford, has been an active member in senior roles on the OBA board since 2012.

    Read More

  • Ross Firm Golf Tourney In Support of Huron Women’s Shelter a Swinging Success

    On behalf of the Huron Women’s Shelter and The Ross Firm P.C., we say “THANK YOU” to our many Sponsors and Donators for their outpouring of generosity and support for the annual Take a Swing Against Violence Golf Tournament held at Goderich Sunset Golf Club.

    Read More

  • Who needs a Will? You do!

    Our guests can explain why. Are you single and renting? A new Family? Or Homeowner? Enjoying your Golden Years? We all need a Will and our guest speakers will show you the why and the way.

    Read More

  • Take a Swing Against Violence

    On June 21, 2017, the Huron Women’s Shelter Second Stage Housing and Counselling Services, Board of Directors and The Ross Firm will be hosting the Taking a Swing Against Violence golf tournament at the Goderich Sunset Golf Course.

    Read More

View All

Send Us An Email. Talk To Us. We Can Help.

To schedule a consultation with one of our experienced lawyers, contact The Ross Firm online or give us a call toll free at 888-567-4917.

Contact Us

Goderich Office
144 Courthouse Square
Suite 100
Goderich, ON N7A 1M9

Toll Free: 888-567-4917
Fax: 519-524-8438
Map & Directions

Stratford Office
1 Ontario Street
2nd Floor
Stratford, ON N5A 3G7

Toll Free: 888-567-4917
Fax: 519-814-5533
Map & Directions

Kincardine Office
943 Queen Street
Kincardine, ON N2Z 2Y8

Phone: 226-396-5532
Fax: 226-396-5533
Map & Directions