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Housing Market: Can violence or murders impact home prices?

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With true crime media like The Watcher taking off, many are wondering, can violence or murders impact home prices? What does this mean for the housing market?

housing market home prices after murders or violence

The Watcher is a new Netflix series based on a true story. A family who moved into a home worth quite a bit received threatening and violent letters from an unknown person. These letters contained a lot of private personal information.

While there was no murder, there was harassment which inflicted fear on the family and impacted the interest in anyone ever wanting to own that home.

What happens in the housing maret when violence or murders happen, and does it change home prices?

According to My Twin Tiers, a lot of these homes become known as “murder houses” and are stigmatized. Stigmatized properties are labeled when murder, suicide, a notorious owner, or things like hauntings are said to have occurred in these locations.

California real estate agent Dr. Randall Bell specializes in handling stigmatized homes and has sold some of the most impacted properties.

Sales include the former home of Nicole Brown Simpson and Jon Benet Ramsey.

Bell studies the effect that these negative things have on the property values and what to expect.

Overall, stigmatized properties that have experienced murder or violence can expect a 15-25% drop in price.

It takes time but this eventually will go away. Bell said it can take ten to 25 years for the negative stigma to go away completely.

Data shared by shows that these properties will sell for a median 21% less than their previous sale price, 9% less than the listing price, and 15% less than similar houses in the same zip code.

Some people will actually take advantage of a home price where murder or violence occurred, calling it a good deal.

How to know if murders or violence occurred in a home you want to buy

There is a website that you can visit called that will sometimes show whether a murder or death happened at a certain address.

Depending on the state you want to buy a house in though, some realtors don’t need to tell you those details legally.

While realtors have to legally disclose material facts about a property, deaths aren’t included in a lot of states.

Things that must be disclosed are about the home and the land, like liens, water issues, and mechanical issues. Deaths are considered to be outside of necessary information.

Sellers should always tell the truth to voice critical omissions to potential buyers.

Homeownership rates are lowest in New York compared to the rest of the U.S.

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