Today it became legal to purchase and grow small quantities of marijuana in Ontario. Yet, the thought of purchasing a home that has been used to grow marijuana may continue to provoke an emotional response from some buyers. Our job as Real Estate Professionals is to take appropriate steps to protect your interests.
Keep in mind, cannabis legalization does not impact the laws that dictate when disclosure is required. The information below outlines the existing requirements. On the day of legalization of cannabis in Canada, it is important that buyers and sellers understand these concepts.
A stigma is a non-physical attribute of a property that may trigger a negative emotional or psychological response in a potential buyer. However, the events or circumstances that prompt the response do not necessarily have any bearing on the function or appearance of the property. Examples include a home that was previously occupied by a notorious criminal, or, a home where a suicide occurred.
What facts may constitute a stigma will vary from buyer to buyer, depending on their sensitivity regarding certain issues. For example, one buyer may believe a home where a single marijuana plant was legally grown is stigmatized, while another buyer may have no concern whatsoever. In Ontario, there is no requirement on sellers to disclose the existence of facts that may elicit stigmas in buyers. However, we can make specific inquiries about issues that are important to our clients.
A defect, on the other hand, is a physical attribute of the property. Physical defects fall into two broad categories:
Patent defects are readily visible or can be identified during a home inspection that does not involve making holes in the structure or removing access panels. For example, damage or visible stains may suggest a water leak from the roof or a bathroom overhead. There is no requirement for the seller to disclose patent defects.
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