Would you buy from a seller with a criminal record?

10 Replies

Hi Everyone,

I am negotiating with a seller on a property and upon doing some research found out that the seller had a substantial criminal record. Would you back out of negotiations or continue regardless of that? 

Thanks for your input!



Buy it. I wouldn’t worry about the record unless It hinders the financing or anything.

I wouldn't let that affect my decision at all.  Who cares?  After the sale, you won't have anything else to do with him.

Thanks for the quick responses @Tommy Sessions and @Kyle J. ! If the seller is also rehabbing the house beforehand would you still feel the same way?

Yes I would feel the same way. I am a police officer and the only thing I have had to worry about is contractors who have current/pending charges. I actually had a contractor come who I have an active felony case on. Obviously couldn’t have him do any work. Like mentioned previously, once purchase is complete you don’t have further contact. Last place I bought, I spoke with seller once on phone and twice on email. The rest was through title company. Good luck

Originally posted by @Dave Bopp :

Thanks for the quick responses @Tommy Sessions and @Kyle J.! If the seller is also rehabbing the house beforehand would you still feel the same way?

I would still feel the same.  I've never even checked the criminal record of anyone I bought I house from.  It's just not something I would personally consider relevant to the sale of a house.  Now, if you were considering going into business with him or loaning him a large sum of money, then maybe it might become more relevant (depending on the type of criminal history and how recent it was).  But if you're just concerned about his honesty in general and/or that he may be taking shortcuts with the rehab on the one house you're buying from him, you should be having an inspection done that would reveal any issues as far as that goes.   

I would not let that alone play a part in my decision. I deal with people with no criminal record with the same caution. People with cheat you and use hot materials without a criminal record. 

I have 4 speeding tickets , would you buy a house from me ?

@Dave Bopp I am going to disagree with the others. 

I would say it depends on what the criminal record is and what you are depending on from the guy. For example, fraud convictions may be a concern but a DWI may not be. If he is doing the rehab or some type of seller financing, then someone with fraud convictions may not be trustworthy. As far as what could go wrong, if the rehab work wasn't done properly or people were not paid, that could become an issue for you.

Good for you for doing due diligence on who you are working with! Any smart investor looks at the deal, the house, the neighborhood and the seller when doing due diligence. I always research the seller to understand my negotiating position.

I agree with Joe, above. If the guy has a history of fraud I would be wary. If he is a murderer or bank robber then you are probably fine. To be fair, people with criminal records have a terrible time finding work and housing. It makes it excruciatingly hard for them to turn their lives around.   If he is able to flip houses to turn his life around then I would be happy to buy from him. 

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