Real Estate & Lease Litigation: June 2017 Archives

Haunted House Hunting and the Duty to Disclose

In a competitive real estate market like Greater Boston's, more homebuyers are agreeing to what previously would have been seen as a draconian contract term: purchasing a home without first conducting an inspection. But today, in a hot seller's market, it may be a buyer's best hope to landing the winning bid. The perils of buying a home before learning about things like the property's structural soundness would spook most anyone, not just the most risk adverse. But what about the intangibles that even a traditional inspection wouldn't reveal? One Massachusetts statute defines the obligations of a seller of real property that is potentially "psychologically impacted." Specifically, G.L. ch. 93, § 114, carves out "alleged parapsychological or supernatural phenomenon" as a non-material fact, that is, information that does not need to be disclosed by a seller during a real estate transaction.

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