• Bonnie Erickson, REALTOR® in the Minneapolis and Saint Paul area of Minnesota can be contacted by phone at 612-419-1829 or by e-mail


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May 19, 2008


Sarah Mascara

Great article and fun to read. It's my understanding, if you're representing a buyer who has disclosed to you that they cannot live at a property where there is perceived paranormal occurrences or there has been a tragic accidental death/suicide, it's your duty as buyer's agent to do your due diligence by asking the listing party about those facts, which are material and important to your buyer. Our brokerage actually called the board about this recently and that was the boards assessment as well.

san diego home for sale

There's a new Washington Supreme Court case that changes the way buyers and sellers will negotiate. The case is Alejandre v. Bull. This case addresses the hottest issue right now in the State of Washington for Realtors, buyers and sellers. It involves the issue of negligent misrepresentation by a seller and what remedy a buyer will have. Negligent misrepresentation includes both intentional and unintentional misrepresentation.

Bonnie Erickson

Michele, Your comments are exactly why I pursue the information my clients want about the house. I would never scoff or laugh off my clients needs in a home. I truly respect the cultural diversity and try my hardest to obtain the info my clients need. I've had myriad examples of clients needing houses that faced a specific direction, did not have front and back doors in line, etc. Whether it is my belief or not does not discount that it is important to my client. It is my fiduciary duty to place my clients' interests above my own. This includes their spiritual needs.


As a buyer and practitioner of Feng Shui I would like to know if in the last 25 years there was a death or illness in the home I plan to live.

It reminds me of the conversation I had with our realtor before we bought our current home 15 years ago...some years back a prominent builder was shot and killed by his teenage son. It was in the neighborhood we planned to buy into. My Realtor laughed and said no that didn't happen in your neighborhood. However a few years later one old time neighbor moved back into the community; over coffee she disclosed the history of the home, the abuse the boy suffered and what drove him. Turns out it is the house across the street. Homes carry energy and well I want to know the history of the place I plan to buy.

Bonnie Erickson


I am not bending the law. More disclosure is never a problem nor can it be construed as bending the law.

I also am not putting my personal beliefs into my opinion. My personal beliefs are that I don't care what happened in the house. If I like the house, I will buy it and live in it. I also do not get an inspection or care about the seller's disclosure. My level of expertise as a rehabber prepares me for what might need to be repaired in a house more than my clients who may, or may not, have owned a home before.

My experience as an agent who respects her buyer client's beliefs and tries to meet and protect their best interests is another thing entirely. There are spiritual beliefs that disallow a person moving into a house where a death has occurred without first cleansing the house. Some who believe in ghosts want to live with them present and some consider them evil and would not buy a house that was haunted. Am I to NOT pursue the relevant information for those clients?

I have had other clients who walked away from an estate house because the listing agent would not reveal whether the seller died from unnatural causes, i.e., murder, drug overdose (which is not excluded from disclosure). My clients would have purchased the house if the former owner died from AIDS, HIV, or old age. It was the bad vibes of crime that concerned them.

Greg Broadbent

I don’t think I agree with you at all. You are putting your personal beliefs into the situation. The fact that someone died in the property does not change the property at all. It is still the same size, shape and condition. People who don’t believe in the afterlife or ghosts shouldn’t care about a death in the home. In Mystic CT, there are houses that are hundreds of years old. Should I tell them about the many original family members that probably died in the home? What you are actually doing is compounding the tragedy the family has had. First a death and now a huge loss in value to the home.

They made the law for a reason if you start bending one why not bend others? Tell your clients upfront and be honest with them before you start showing them houses. Tell them where they can find out information like that so that when they find the house they like, THEY can choose what non material facts will effect their decision.

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