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Buyers: Should you be notified of a death in the home?

On Behalf of | Jan 8, 2020 | Residential Real Estate

Death is an uncomfortable subject for many Massachusetts residents. In fact, some home buyers are hesitant to purchase property in which someone has died. This is not entirely unreasonable. Depending on the neighborhood or circumstances surrounding the event, you may be uncomfortable knowing someone died in the home you plan to purchase, or it could even negatively impact the property value.

As you may know, sellers must disclose physical problems with a home to potential buyers. According to, the seller may also need to tell buyers about a death in the home, although that depends on the circumstances. For example, if you sold a home in California, Alaska or South Dakota before moving to Massachusetts, you would be required to tell interested buyers about any type of death in the house, including a peaceful natural death. It is not uncommon for older homeowners to pass away peacefully at home, which might not bother most prospective buyers, so most states do not require disclosure of peaceful deaths. However, violent deaths or suicides are a different story. Understandably, you may want to know if someone was murdered or committed suicide in the home you are thinking about living in.

People’s concerns about living in a home in which someone died may be more logical than being afraid of living in a haunted house, although this too can be understandable for some. It may reassure you to conduct an Internet search on the address of your prospective home, in case the seller is not being forthright about neighborhood crime or a death on the property.