Stigmatized Properties.. do you want to know?


Stigmatized Property in East Van

Stigmatized property… unfortunate circumstances like robbery, death or ghosts (*shudder*) fall under this category. I think that “ignorance is bliss” in these situations, and apparently the Real Estate Board thinks so as well. Realtors are not obligated to tell you any of these things happened in a home unless you or you Realtor ASK. Keep in mind that even the listing agent may not know the answer to the question.

Certain provinces require that this information is put forth, however, in the province of BC, Listing Agents aren’t required to mention this information to prospective Buyers unless asked. Your question doesn’t have to be very specific: you can inquire if the property is stigmatized or if any deaths have occurred previously in the home (whether by natural causes or a violent crime). This rule also applies to other situations including if a sex offender lives in the neighbourhood, if the house is known to be haunted, if a suspected gang member lived there, or if the property was previously robbed or vandalized.

We’ve seen property where you know the owners are older when you see the decor and furniture. This is what tips off most prospective Buyers with the curiousity and following question “Did they die in the home”? Remember we have to tell you if you ask, so think for a second if you really want to know!

This is a big deal for certain cultures, and for many people who may get the “heebie jeebies” from knowing that kind of information. Think about it before you ask – are you okay with not knowing? If you absolutely love the property, do you want to know? Was it an issue with the house itself, the location or the previous owners?

Something to keep in mind, if you do not want to live in a property associated with any of these situations, ensure your Real Estate Agent knows this when you discuss what you’re looking for in a home and will ask on your behalf. You’ll be happy to know that it’s a rare situation!

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