How do you go about selling a home with “emotional defects” – features that do not relate to title and which are not apparent in the physical structure – but might make it less enjoyable  to some buyers?

Do you have to tell prospective buyers about a home’s regrettable history even if it has no connection to the building’s structural integrity?

We are talking about “character flaws” in real estate. An example is where a house had been the scene of a crime.

Our May 2008 eNews discussed how in NSW, a real estate office was held responsible for not disclosing what they knew of the history of the home in which a murder had occurred.

Such “emotional defects” or “character flaws” really relate to superstition or emotion.

A Sydney solicitor has devised a contract special condition he claims will overcome just about any “emotional defect” or scandal. According to the solicitor, David Crapp, if there is not a problem with the house, it must come from the “the purchaser’s imagination”.

We believes this type of “defect” can indeed be covered in a contract special condition. Naturally, the agent must still disclose what they know but the special condition will prevent a buyer subsequently deciding that any “emotional defect” was material to them.


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