Is it an agent’s responsibility?

by Justin da Rosa07 Apr 2017
This frightening instance of a homebuyer being stalked by a former owner begs the question: Would you have informed the buyer about the potential for distress?

Derek and Maria Broaddus purchased a New Jersey home for $1.4 million June 2014. Days later, they received frightening letters from a someone who referred to themselves as the “Watcher.”

"Why are you here? I will find out," one letter read. "My grandfather watched the house in the 1920s and my father watched in the 1960s. It is now my time."

"Have they found what is in the walls yet?" another letter continued. "In time they will. I am pleased to know your names and the names now of the young blood you have brought to me."

And in late March, the Broadduses’ lawyer claimed the couple had recently received a latter following the occupancy of a new tenant that was “more derogatory and sinister than any of the previous letters,” the Associated Press reported.

After receiving the first letters, the family – which includes young children – tried to move out but couldn’t find anyone who wanted to buy the home.

No surprises there.

They eventually sued the previous owners, alleging they too received letters from the “Watcher.”

The previous owners countersued, citing defamation.

So it begs the question: If, as the current owners claim, the previous tenants did receive the letters – and also assuming the listing agent knew about it – should the seller and agent have disclosed the information?

Have your say below.


Related stories:
Disclosing a death prior to selling
Agent: Assignment clauses aren’t entirely unethical

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