A property stigma is an unfavourable quality in a property or one that makes the property less attractive or unattractive, but that is unrelated to the physical condition or features of the property. Stigmas may include:
What one person finds unacceptable may not be a stigma to another.
Generally speaking, sellers are not legally required to disclose property stigma.
For unfavourable property qualities that are related the physical condition or features of the property, see Material Latent Defects.
When you’re shopping for a home, you’ll likely talk to your real estate professional about the features you’re looking for; you should also discuss the things you want to avoid.
Tell your real estate professional if you are concerned about certain stigma—for example, if it would bother you to find out a suicide has taken place in the property. If there are stigmas that bother you, your real estate professional can ask a seller or the seller’s real estate representative direct questions about any existing stigma associated with a property you’re interested in.
The seller or the seller’s representative is not legally required to answer questions about stigma; however, they can’t lie. If they choose to answer your questions about stigma, they must do so honestly.
If the seller refuses to answer your questions, this may raise a red flag. In that case, you can
Your real estate professional can help you decide how to proceed.
As you start to look at properties, you may wonder what else you can do to help ensure you find the right property.
As a seller, it is up to you to decide if you want to disclose a possible stigma to a potential buyer. You are not legally required to do so.
As a seller you can:
If you choose to answer a potential buyer’s question about stigmas, you must do so honestly. You cannot lie to potential buyers about stigma.
You may be worried that disclosing a stigma will negatively affect the value of your property. On the other hand, if you aren’t willing to answer questions about possible stigma, it may scare some buyers away.
Ultimately, it is completely your decision whether to disclose stigma. Your real estate professional cannot disclose stigma to a potential buyer without your permission.