Monday, February 4, 2013

should home buyers be required to disclose their sex offender status to their real estate agent?

From Women Against Registry comes news of a bill proposed in the Missouri state legislature to require home buyers to reveal their status as sex offenders as part of the purchase process.
[This] newly introduced legislation, if enacted would require any registered sex offender who is looking to purchase real estate to disclose their registered status to his or her real estate agent and, in turn, require that the agent disclose the buyer's status to the seller. And then, if the deal goes through, to also notify specified neighboring residents.
A family moving into a new home would meet their new neighbors who know only one thing about them: they are a sex offender's family. Imagine being a child with that introduction to new neighbors...because yes, sex offenders do have families.

The legislation not only puts an additional burden on the home buyer; it would add a distasteful task to the responsibilities of real estate agents. The agents trying to sell a home would hear a sad story that could jeopardize the sale, and then be responsible for passing it on to the neighbors if the purchase goes through.

Do real estate agents really want to turn home sales into a treacherous transaction which includes humiliation of the buyer?

Without buyers, real estate agents need new jobs. We have about 750,000 sex offenders in the United States who buy and sell real estate like the rest of us.

Laws intended to track sex offenders have a funny way of affecting more than the sex offenders.
"It is NOT the responsibility of either the seller or the listing agent to acquire or report information about a potential buyer that is irrelevant to the buyer's legitimate qualifications to legally purchase or lease a home," W.A.R. proponent D. R. Madison concluded. "We oppose any legislation that humiliates, places individuals and families in harm’s way or shames the innocent children involved."

Poor Charlie Davis! He's the Missouri Representative (District 162) who introduced this bill. It must be difficult to think of new laws.

All the good laws are already taken.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Emily Bazelon wrote a great article for the New York Times on the impact of child porn on the lives of two girls who were horrifically sexually abused:

James Marsh is the lawyer representing the victims in their quest for compensation -- against men like your beloved husband. Read the article and then tell me you don't believe simply viewing /downloading child porn has a quantifiable horrific impact on the victims.

(The girls who were violated are the victims. Not your husband!!)