Lexington South Carolina Real Estate


What is your due diligence in regards to Sex Offenders?

How far should you go?


Scenario #1: You are under a listing agreement with Client A. After listing the property you become aware of a sex offender living in the home next door. 


ABC Agency calls wanting to show your listing, do you make the agent aware of the sex offender living next door so that they can tell there client or do you trust that they have done there job and given there client the required  Sex Offender Registry disclosure to verify the information themselves? 


What if a customer calls you direct about the same listing, do you handle it the same way?


Scenario #2: You have entered into a Buyer Agency agreement with Client A and have provided the required discolsure in reference to the Sex Offender Registry that directs them to the local sex offender website for more information. Client A wishes to view a property that you know has a sex offender residing next door.  Do you share this information with your client or have you already done your due diligence by providing the sex offender disclosure?



 Chip Jefferson

Gibbs Realty & Auction Co. INC
Mobile 803-360-0491
Office 803-808-1260
Fax 803-808-1264



Comment balloon 17 commentsChip Jefferson • February 20 2010 01:33PM


I guess I would just really hope that I never have to be in that situation.

Posted by Malcolm Johnston, Trenton Real Estate (Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario) almost 7 years ago

Laura, I live in an area in which sex predators are prevalent, have for 30 years. This is due to a state run psychiatric hospital being within 2 miles from my front door. After much research I have found that many websites purporting to be accurate are very much inaccurate in tracking these persons. These offenders are very mobile. I have found that these websites are outdated or more interested in selling other services than protecting the public. I actually worked for a client that was a level 2 sex offender and couldn't find his name in any registry. I found it out from a police officer and asked my client point blank, face to face to get the answer... I don't know if I would feel comfortable pointing fingers per this reason...
Have a great day my friend,

Posted by Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, Broker, Tacoma Washington, Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority! (RE/MAX Professionals.) almost 7 years ago

Laura, here in Alabama there are no laws currently on the books regarding real property disclosure forms.  Of course if a latent material fact is known then it must be disclosed.  It is my understanding, particularly if representing the seller, that I can not disclose a near by registered sex offender.  Even if I suggested that the buyers check the national sex offender registry, I could be considered as not acting in my clients best interest.  However, if  representing the buyer I always have them check the registry.  With all that said; if I were representing the seller and a young couple with kids wanted the house...my morals would dictate that I find a way to make the buyers aware.  Although Alabama is Caveat Emptor...I believe we are on the way to full disclosure.

I also have a Brokers license in Illinois and full disclosure is in force:

Megan's Law - Megan's Law was enacted to notify buyers and tenants about the proximity of registered sex offenders. The law requires every purchase contract and lease agreement to contain specific written notice that a database containing information about registered sex offenders may be accessed by buyers and tenants. This disclosure is required for every lease or real property sales contract for residential real property entered into on or after July 1, 1999.

Posted by Nick T Pappas, Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource (Assoc. Broker/Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, Huntsville AL) almost 7 years ago

I would encourage a seller to make the disclosure (if they and I knew).  If they would not I would not take the listing.

Posted by Richard Weeks, REALTOR®, Broker almost 7 years ago

This likely varies state to state as to the responsibility of the agent.

Posted by Bob & Carolin Benjamin, East Phoenix Arizona Homes (Benjamin Realty LLC) almost 7 years ago

We also have Megan's law. We tell clients to contact either the sheriff's office or local police station to get that type of information.

Posted by Nick Zappa, Professional treatment of our clients, brings awes (Eagles Wings Realty) almost 7 years ago

OOH!! Touchy subject especially if you have kids. You can call the PD and get information here too...

Helping you help others live their American dream...

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) almost 7 years ago

It is always a good idea for people to check the registries and with the local police department.  In VA, there is a Megan's Law disclosure....in other jurisdictions that I work, the disclosures that the buyer should look into this isn't as noticable.  People have to decide for themselves.  I always tell them to check where they live now to compare.

Posted by Yvette Chisholm, Associate Broker - Rockville, MD 301-758-9500 (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.) almost 7 years ago

I'm going to ask this question in our team meeting next week to see how our agents are handling it.

Posted by Ann Allen Hoover, CDPE SRES ASP e-PRO Realtor - Homes for Sale - AL (RE/MAX Advantage South) almost 7 years ago

WE miss you I hope you are OK...

Posted by Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, Broker, Tacoma Washington, Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority! (RE/MAX Professionals.) almost 7 years ago

Just dropped by to see how things were going in your part of the world!

As others have mentioned I just hope I am never in this situation. Didclose Disclose Disclose!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate) over 6 years ago

Hey Laura,

It's my feeling that you should disclose if you have the knowledge. I would cancel the listing if the seller disagree's. This is a tough position to be in and I want to sleep good at night instead worrying about withholding this type of information.

Posted by Mark Ilderton, RE Agent - Columbia South Carolina Real Estate (Exit Real Estate Consultants) over 6 years ago

This is a tough situation.  How far does the agent's responsibility go?  Sex offender information is public record.

Posted by Mark Lebkuchner / Home Loan Specialist over 6 years ago


Wow, does this hit home. I just had a scenario that put me in a strange position where the owner of a home I had for sale put a tenant in it that did time for hurting a child.

Posted by Tom Braatz Waukesha County Real Estate 262-377-1459, Waukesha County Realtor Real Estate agent,Waukesha (Coldwell Banker) almost 6 years ago

Somthing to think about if your  a buyers agent that is for sure.



Posted by Bret & Meredith Amon, Real Estate Breckenridge,Keystone,Silverthorne CO (LIV| Sotheby's I R) over 5 years ago

If I knew it, I would disclose it. However, for something like that, I would disclose it in writing so that there are no emotions involved.


Posted by Not a real person over 5 years ago

This is a situation I hope I don't get into but I would fully disclose with my client.

Posted by Pete Xavier with X Group Real Estate Advocates, Outstanding Agent Referrals-Nationwide (Investments to Luxury) about 4 years ago