Correct Answer for Real Estate Agents if Asked About Sex Offenders
Question: I know that there was a major lawsuit involving non-disclosure of a sex offender in the Silverleaf community of north Scottsdale. I own a small brokerage firm with several agents. I tell my agents that, if they are asked about sex offenders in the community, they cannot disclose any such knowledge without the consent of the seller, but they cannot lie. In other words, if the agent knows that there is a sex offender in the community, the agent can say “I am not obligated to disclose that information,” but the agent cannot lie and say “I don’t know.” Am I instructing my agents correctly?
Answer: Yes. The practical result is that your real estate agent answering truthfully will cause the buyer to make an independent investigation to determine if there is a sex offender in the community. An independent investigation by the buyer is already strongly encouraged by language in the standard Arizona real estate purchase contract.