Do you have to tell buyers about a murder or suicide in a home?
There are many factors that influence what price buyers are willing to pay for an individual piece of real estate. Location, the age and condition of the improvements on the property, the acreage and other amenities can impact whether a buyer wants your property and what price they feel is fair for it.
As a property owner hoping to sell a home because of bad memories associated with the property, you might worry that the same issue that might provoke you to sell the home could prevent a buyer from purchasing it.
Under Mississippi law, sellers have an obligation to disclose material facts about a property that could impact its value. Do you have an obligation to tell a potential buyer about a murder, natural death or suicide that occurred at the property while you owned it?
Mississippi does not require the preemptive disclosure of tragedies
In some states, if a death occurred in the home while the current owner owned the property, they have a legal obligation to disclose that death to all potential buyers. Thankfully, Mississippi is more practical in its approach to these kinds of tragedies.
Even if the death that occurred was a suicide or a murder, you don’t necessarily have to tell a potential buyer unless they explicitly asked. The only other exception to your right to omit information is if the death in the house was related to the manufacture or use of illegal drugs that could have a negative impact on the property’s value or safety.
For example, someone who overdosed on methamphetamine while also making meth in the house could have caused chemical damage that will require expensive remediation to make the home safe for buyers. Barring these kinds of rare and unusual scenarios, buyers likely don’t need to know about your tragedy, which might just give them grounds for making a lowball offer on the property.