Recently, one my clients and I came across a property that seemed to be under-priced (based on our research of the market trends in that specific neighborhood). A week passed, and we were surprised to see the home undergo a price reduction, because both of us were sure that the home would have already been sold in a bidding war (most likely above the list price). I made an inquiry to the seller's agent, and the agent sent to me the seller's Transfer Disclosure Statement. After reading through the first two pages of the disclosure document, there it was... "Recent family homicide on the property." This is not something we find in seller's disclosures very often, so this line stuck out to me like a sore thumb. Both my client and I started doing some research online, and we quickly found news stories with all the details. Sad details of a family argument gone wrong. Two deaths. Two unnecessary deaths. Right there in the home my client wanted to buy.
My client said he had no problem with it, but he wasn't sure what his wife would say. A day later, they told me they were not interested in the house. Keep in mind that these clients have been looking for a home for several months. The area they are looking in has a very low inventory in their price range, and the competition is stiff. They have written recent offers on a couple properties over the list price with hopes of ending their home search and getting the process over with, finally. This home was more than what they needed in a home. It was remodeled since the crime and looked like brand new. It was in the perfect location for them, and it normally would have been priced out of their budget. However, with the price reduction, it would have been a steal of a deal in their mind... Until they found out there was a double homicide.
Today, I read an article in the San Diego newspaper about the Spreckels Mansion (or Shacknai mansion). There were two highly publicized deaths on this Coronado Island property recently (allegedly an accidental death of a child and an adult suicide soon after), and soon it will be going on the market (supposedly for $16 Million). I wonder who will buy this home. Who buys any home with a dark history? A survey that I found online suggested that about 70% of home buyers would not buy a home with a dark history. Would you?
A lot of people say a death on the property wouldn't bother them, but what about a homicide or a suicide? What about after you read all the violent details? What if you found out after you bought the home? It's so important to investigate a property before you buy to make sure it's the right fit for you. Learn more about investigating a property before you buy.
Justin Gramm is the founder and principal broker of Globella Buyers Realty, your San Diego Exclusive Buyer Brokerage. He also writes this blog, "For San Diego Home Buyers."
Exclusive Buyer Agents do not list homes for sale and never represent sellers. They have no "inventory" to try to sell you. They can represent you in purchasing any home. They are specialists at representing buyers only on the buyers' side of the transaction. Exclusive Buyer Agents work to get buyers the best price and terms when they buy a home.
If you have excellent credit and plan to buy a home or condo in San Diego County within 90 days, contact Justin Gramm to hire an agent on your side of the transaction. Call Justin at (858) 437-2662 or E-mail.