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What to do when a seller failed to disclose a murder on the property

On Behalf of | Aug 18, 2020 | Real Estate Litigation |

Once a person buys a property, he or she has limited rights to hold the seller accountable for anything wrong with the property. In Georgia, this includes some disclosures the seller may not have made.

According to the Georgia House of Representatives, there is no legal obligation for a seller to tell a buyer about a murder, suicide or other felony actin on the property. In addition, a seller has no right to bring legal action against the seller for not disclosing this information.

Next moves

Realtor explains that once a person finds out about a murder on the property, it may make him or her feel uncomfortable about living there. In addition, it may stigmatize the property, making it difficult to sell in the future. There is little that a buyer can do once the sale is final with one exception.

The exception

The only way that a buyer may have the ability to hold a seller liable for not disclosing the murder is if the buyer specifically asked the seller if there had been a murder or death on the property. Every state requires a truthful answer to this direct question. If the buyer asked this question and the seller lied, then there is a possible legal issue at hand.

Due to this exception, it is wise for every person buying a home to ask if there was a crime or death on the property. This provides protection if information comes about after the sale that the seller knew of the incident and failed to be truthful when asked about it.