Murder-Suicide Does Not Have To Be Disclosed in House Sale, Pa. High Court Says

July 24, 2014 – In The News

Abraham Reich was quoted in the NewsWorks article, “Murder-Suicide Does Not Have To Be Disclosed in House Sale, Pa. High Court Says.” Full text can be found in the July 24, 2014, issue, but a synopsis is below.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that a real estate agent does not need to disclose a murder-suicide that happened in a house to a potential buyer.

“People will think, and I understand it, 'Oh my God, I would be horrified if I bought a house where there was a murder-suicide and no one told me about it!'” said Abraham Reich.

Reich was satisfied with the court’s decision, saying “They concluded that a murder-suicide was not a material defect in the property and, therefore, there was no duty to disclose it.”

According to Reich, had the court ruled the opposite, it would be difficult to know where to draw the line on disclosure of other tragedies that took place in a home.

"While murder-suicide may be offensive to a potential buyer, other psychological stigmas may be equally or more offensive - whether someone is an ax murderer that lives in the house or whether there was a suicide alone," he said.

Reich suggests potential buyers ask if a crime happened in a house before purchasing, as the seller is legally required to answer such a direct question.