Once your potential purchase reaches the inspection stage, you should already have a pretty good idea regarding the current condition of the property. At least from the seller’s perspective. Sellers are required to complete a Seller’s Property Disclosure form identifying any issues that are known or should have been known by the seller.

stigmatized properties

A known issue might be water in the basement while a “should have known” problem is hidden mold as a result of the leak. However, there are other issues called “material facts” that should be disclosed that aren’t necessarily structural in nature. In fact, in some states certain disclosure requirements might seem a bit odd but not so much if the home for sale is labeled as “stigmatized.” What might stigmatize a property?

In some states a seller must disclose a catastrophic event that occurred on the property either in the home or on the lot. Such an event could mean a murder took place. Or someone committed suicide by hanging. The term “stigmatized” is easy to understand yet what may bother one person may not bother someone else. Is the house well known for a ghostly appearance that appears in the windows late in the evening and everyone knows it’s a haunted house? Was the house the scene of a horrific crime or the property used for criminal purposes could categorize the property as stigmatized.

As mentioned, a property deemed stigmatized doesn’t hold water in most states and the concept is still a controversial one, especially as it relates to ghosts and hauntings. But such disclosures where applicable must be highlighted by the seller. You can hire a property inspector to look for physical issues but you can’t find one that looks for ghosts. If the state where the property is located doesn’t recognize certain stigmas as it relates to real estate disclosures, if you know a property has such a reputation, you may find there are fewer renters wanting to move into it.