Do you have a property with a not so appealing past? Perhaps you bought it at a knock-down price and now are worrying about trying to sell it on? Well, fear not, apparently even properties with the grisliest of pasts can appeal to some people.
The house of horrors, 195 Melrose Avenue in Cricklewood, is where Dennis Nilson murdered his 12 (or 13) victims. Yet in 2016, the two-bed flat in leafy North London was sold at a bargain price of £493,000 to an undeterred buyer, despite the gruesome warning on the advert.
Obviously, this is an extreme example, but death is never an easy topic and sellers who disclose a grim past are often concerned that the property’s past will make it impossible to sell.
Firstly, I think it is important to note that nothing happens to the value of a house where a death occurs naturally. However, if a traumatic event happened at a property, sellers should disclose what happened as this may influence the future owners’ decision.
A dark history is definitely going to make a sale harder due to deeply rooted superstitions. A property’s market price could be greatly diminished by a tragic event like a murder or paranormal activity, and even being located next to a cemetery can cause a drop in price.
However, it is important to remember that unlike many years ago, now a simple search on Google can reveal the past of any house that ever appeared in the news or had some history written about it in the papers. For this reason, transparency is always the best approach.
According to The Property Ombudsman’s Codes of Practice for Residential Estate Agents, Agents “must by law comply with the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (or the Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations 2008 where applicable).
The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 requires agents to disclose any information of which they are aware or should be aware of in relation to the property in a clear, intelligible and timely fashion and to take all reasonable steps to ensure that all statements that they make about a property, whether oral, pictorial or written, are accurate and are not misleading. All material information must be disclosed and there must be no material omissions which may impact on the average consumer’s transactional decision. Where information is given to consumers and/or their representatives, it must be accurate and not misleading.”
Of course, this is a bit of a difficult area of legislation as it relies on the seller disclosing any information, they know about the property to the agent so that that information can be passed on to any potential sellers. However, agents have a duty of care to do their due diligence and find out any information they can.
If you have a property with a history which you would prefer not to discuss with estate agents, or are concerned about how it will sell, WeBuyProperty is happy to have a no obligation chat with you about the property. We will provide honest feedback for the best steps forward for you to sell your property as discreetly and hassle free as possible.
Contact us on: 0207 938 3007