Sexual Predator Site
May 16, 2008
A good friend of mine just sent me an interesting website called Family Watch Dog.
Type in your address and a map will pop up showing you all the convicted sexual predators that are reported to live in your area. The colored boxes show the block the offenders supposedly live on.
You can also see what the offender has been convicted of (though they don’t give victim detail).
This is a helpful tool for people to protect themselves with.
In real estate we are not required to disclose information about nearby sex offenders. Nor do we have a duty to investigate such situations. Unfortunately, real estate agents have to walk a fine line with such things. When we represent Sellers we owe them fiduciary duties that are there to protect the best interests of our clients. I was told in a class a couple of years ago that if a Buyer backs out of a transaction because a Listing Agent discloses to them that there is child rapists next door that agent may be in hot water. As agents we have a duty to disclose material facts about our client’s property. But things such as divorces, deaths in the home and the like we have no obligation to disclose, in fact many Sellers don’t want them disclosed due to stigma. The neighborhood offender falls into this category. Though client protection is crucial I could not in good conscience represent someone who would knowingly withhold such information. However, there are people that will.
That’s where a site like this comes in handy. Buyers and home owners need to protect their families and this is good place to begin.
With that being said, I’m completely for second chances. That doesn’t mean sticking your head in the sand though. There is an especially insidious nature to sexual deviance and it’s better to be in the know than ignorant.
As the old addage goes… “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”
Don’t allow yourself to be fooled.