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Is The House You Want To Buy Haunted Or...?

"Stigmatized" Properties

Would you buy a "haunted" house? How about one where a murder has occurred?

Whether or not you believe in ghosts, or care about a previous incident,  there are many people who DO.

In real estate, these homes are referred to as "stigmatized" properties.

Other properties that fit into this category include those where a murder, suicide, or other violent crime has taken place. How about the presence of disease?

If you are in the market for a house or are thinking about buying, you may be interested to know that there is no statutory obligation in Florida for an owner or real estate agent to inform prospective buyers that the house is stigmatized. However, because of case law implications,I personally disclose if I know the property is stigmatized. This disclosure comes with the approval of the seller.

This information should be disclosed, if you are selling such a home. The advantage is that the buyer cannot come back later and sue. And even if the legal action has no merit, the hassle isn’t worth it. The disadvantage is that it may discourage a buyer who does believe in the supernatural.

Of course, ghosts and crimes are not the only elements that can stigmatize a property. Another factor of concern to potential homebuyers is disease, most notably, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, or AIDS.

The presence of a previous owner with AIDS may seem like a stigmatizing factor to many; however, that is not the case. Revisions to our nation’s fair housing laws have identified the handicapped as a protected class much like ethnic status, religious beliefs or gender, and AIDS is considered a handicap. Therefore, a REALTOR® cannot disclose the fact that an AIDS patient lived there as it is considered immaterial to the transaction.

In fact, if a real estate agent is specifically asked if anyone with AIDS does or has lived in the house, they are not obliged to reply. The response is more likely to be a generic statement about protected classes identified under fair housing laws and that legally, no comment can be made. Any prospective buyer should not assume that means "yes." It means, by law, this is a discussion that cannot take place.

I have sold real estate full time since 1998 and personally subscribe not only to state and national fair housing laws, but also to a strict Code of Ethics outlining proper behavior in dealing with both sellers and buyers.

Disclosure, for both buyers & sellers, is of utmost importance to me and is a principal by which I stand. If I know, then YOU will know. The only exception is if it would violate a Fair Housing Law.



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Donna Tripp PA, CRS, GRI
Charles Rutenberg and Associates

Phone: 407-416-0445
Email: dontripp@bellsouth.net
Licence #: SL670608



See What My Clients Have To Say...

Have used Donna as a buyer and seller agent . Donna is very professional and knowledgeable and always there for her clients . She helped me once while using another agent ( was out of her territory ) too help resolve a problem. I have had over 40 real estate transactions , while some have been good agents , Donna Tripp is by far the best I've ever used .I give her 5* out 5*    Ivan Moore
Donna is a driven realtor.  High attention to detail and the most helpful realtor I have ever met.  She actually came over to help us move.  She got us a sale price that beat my highest expectations.  She kept in constant contact throughout the entire process. We were trying to sale our house ourselves (For sale by owner)

Prior to listing she was the only one who kept in touch (with no pressure) to let us know she was ready when we were.
James & Linda Hachadorian
Go with Donna for a realty experience that is fast, efficient, and seemingly effortless. With impeccable precision and amazing prescience, Donna delivers! My particular situation was filled with the usual family dynamics, full of anxiety and drama. Yet, through it all, Donna kept us all in line with professionalism and a touch of southern hospitality. I was a first-time buyer from New York City and had many questions along the way. Still, Donna answered each of them with ease and skill, and even communicated over text messaging, which I particularly appreciated due to my unusual work schedule. Another note-worthy quality is Donna’s deep knowledge of – and connection to – local community, which served us well, after a big-name lender refused to comply with my initial needs. And, again, Donna delivered. Her advice was clearly rooted in a belief in growing local communities, something that all future – and current – homeowners value. I know I do. Go to Donna Tripp for your realty needs in Central Florida! -- Antonio Antonio from NY
I contacted donna to help me purchase 20  acres on the St. Johns River in Osteen. Due to her real estate knowledge and contacts donna made the transactions seamless with no stress. After I purchased the property, she exceed my expectations by providing me with names and contact numbers of  people I needed to contact in Volusia County. I would feel comfortable in calling her today for assistance if I needed information. She helped us with the feasibility study, survey of 20 acres, delineation study, as it was riverfront property.  All went well. Tom Pentz
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