It’s nearly Halloween and that brings to mind all sorts of scary scenarios, which got me thinking, I bet most buyers don’t know what a seller is required to disclose in Indiana.
Even if you aren’t into paranormal activity, would you be comfortable purchasing a house that the sellers believe to be haunted? Or would it creep you out to know that there was a death in the property?
Surely a seller must tell a buyer that something paranormal is going on in a house, right? Or if someone died in the property or worse yet, was attacked, murdered or committed suicide?
You may be surprised to know that in the state of Indiana, a seller is not required to disclose any of these things! Indiana’s Residential Real Estate Disclosure Law, IC 32-21-6-6 requires sellers of residential property to complete a standard 2 page form with many questions regarding a home’s structure, age of roof, HVAC, plumbing, neighborhood covenants, and even if there was meth produced there, however it doesn’t require them to disclose any knowledge of a psychologically affected property, including strange paranormal activity or whether or not anyone died in the house. BUT, it does required them to share this information without any misrepresentation, if a buyer asks –– so be sure to ASK!
Neighbors are also a great source of information. Even if the current owner doesn’t know the background of the property, neighbors often do, so don’t hesitate to knock on their door and get acquainted — most love to share!
It’s also a good idea to google the address to see if any newspaper articles or police reports show up. One of our buyers did this and discovered there had been a murder/suicide in the home. Because of this information, they opted to purchase a different house. And while you’re online, don’t forget to check the Indiana Sex and Violent Offender Registry and a local crime map like this one.
Basically, don’t rely on the required Indiana Seller’s Disclosure to tell you everything about a property. Do your research and ask lots of questions.