The great and glorious Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ laws about “stigmatized” properties was recently discussed on the Boston Glob Globe blog:
The well maintained 4 bedroom Colonial in a North Shore suburb with a great backyard looked nice enough thought “Debbie,” the buyer. However, she was dismayed to learn from neighbors after closing on the property, that the prior owner had committed suicide in the house. The real estate agent never advised her of this, and she says she would have never purchased the home if she had known this.
In Massachusetts, real estate brokers struggle to sell homes tainted by shocking murders, suicides, or even suspected “haunted houses.” For real estate brokers, sellers and buyers, these “stigmatized” properties are particularly difficult to deal with as they raise unique valuation problems and disclosure issues.
Under Massachusetts law, however, real estate brokers and sellers are under no legal obligation to disclose that a property was the site of a felony, suicide or homicide, or has been the site of an alleged “parapsychological or supernatural phenomenon,” i.e., a haunted house. Thus, buyers are on their own to discover these types of stigmas—however, a quick Google search on the property address or prior owner may have revealed the prior suicide in “Debbie’s” case.
I think the most stigmatized properties are those owned by Yankees fans, personally.