If you’re a real estate agent or broker in Missouri, there’s a chance you’ve come across an odd statute on psychologically impacted real property in chapter 442 “Titles and Conveyance of Real Estate.”
Section 442.600 states what agents are — and are not — legally obligated to disclose when it comes to events taking place on the property.
How Psychologically Impacted Real Property is Defined
This “psychologically impacted real property” includes the following events:
If an occupant is — or was in the past – infected with an immunodeficiency virus, diagnosed with acquired immune deficiency syndrome, or additional diseases determined to not be transmitted through occupancy of a home, then that does not need to be disclosed.
For example, if the owner was diagnosed with AIDS, it would be up to the seller/agent to determine if that’s something they would disclose to potential buyers.
Homicide, Suicides and Other Felonies
In addition to immunodeficiency diseases, agents and brokers to not have to disclose if a homicide, suicide or other violent felonies took place at the property for sale.
What Agents and Brokers Should Know
The Missouri statute outlines that no action can be brought against real estate agents and brokers for failing to disclose the above situations. Though it should be noted that some states have laws that state the opposite and require disclosure of these matters.
There are many agents who make read this law and think, “Should I disclose these events anyway?” Our experience at Investors Title is that people typically do not like to withhold this type of information from buyers. It may feel dishonest or uncomfortable, especially when most buyers respect transparency.
And if the event was as serious as a homicide or suicide, for instance, that information often presents itself in some way or another. If a buyer finds out of that event through another channel, they may wonder what else about the property is being kept secret.
Every seller and agent will need to decide whether or not to disclose a psychologically impacted real residential property, when applicable. If you’re looking for advice on disclosing information about a property or have other selling and closing concerns, contact title experts at Investors Title today.