Buyer beware: Finding out if a home you want to buy has a grisly - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Buyer beware: Finding out if a home you want to buy has a grisly past

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BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

What would you do if you found out your home had a sinister past?

That happened to a woman in St. Louis, Missouri. She discovered a serial killer once lived in her home and used it as a torture chamber.

"I wouldn't be able to stay in the house," said Birmingham resident Michelle Brasher. "I'd be terrified."

It was the same reaction from others FOX6 News spoke with. They say they couldn't imagine buying or leasing a home that was used by a serial killer to commit murders.

"I think what I would do is get rid of it too," said Jayce Johnson. "I'd probably have to move."

Reportedly the woman couldn't pass up the great deal on the house. She later learned why it was so cheap.

Johnny Montgomery with ERA King Real Estate said that could be a red flag for buyers or renters.

"When it's too good to be true, most times it is too good to be true," Montgomery said.

Montgomery says when in doubt about a house, you must ask questions.

Otherwise, he says realtors do not have an obligation to tell you the home you're about to buy was once a murder scene.

"If somebody has a feeling of I don't want to be in a home where someone died or got murdered or whatever, then they need to ask direct questions to that agent," Montgomery. "If they know they're supposed to disclose that to you."

Montgomery says he's never sold a home where a murder was committed, but he has sold a home where someone committed suicide. He says the buyer knew about it and didn't mind at all.

But people FOX6 News spoke with say a house of horror would be a deal breaker for them.

"Just the history of all that awful stuff happening there," said Brasher. "When we bought houses in the past I would never think to ask something like that. Maybe now I will."

Montgomery says when it comes to full disclosure, a realtor does have to tell a buyer anything that's a health or safety issue related to the home or the property.

Other than that, buyers are told to do your own homework before you buy.

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