I think Don Tepper had some really good points. Knowing the nature of the offense is important - find out as much as you can. I would call my Attorney and the Sheriff's office and ask about the definition of Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse. Is it a 16 year old girl and her 18 year old boyfriend who made a bad choice and the girl's parent's are out for blood? I'm not saying this is acceptable or o.k., I'm just saying that you should try to find out the details and exact nature of the crime. I know for a fact that buyers do care about the proximity of a registered sex offender in relation to their home. Most people do care - buyers, sellers, renters, grandparents, etc. There was a home in this area that just wouldn't sell because a registered sex offender was living with his mother in the neighborhood. The crime was of a serious nature. The neighbors got together and things got a little bit ugly. The good thing that came out of it is that the local police came to the neighborhood and spoke with the children and their parents about what they can do to protect themselves and steps they can take to be safe. Once the seller has knowledge of that a sex offender is living in the neighborhood - they should disclose that information to potential buyers. A registered sex offender moved into our neighborhood (didn't purchase, just staying with a home owner around the corner), and that was a huge issue for the people in my neighborhood. Knowledge is power - we didn't sell our homes, but we took extra precautions to make sure the children were safe and not outside without adult supervision.
I always encourage my buyers to go to the local sheriff's website and conduct a sex offender search prior to writing an offer. It is in the best interest of the buyer to know everything. Do seller's always disclose? No. The buyer has to make sure they do their research and have the information to make an educated decision regarding what is right for them, personally. In Ohio (Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors), there is a clause in the purchase contract regarding sexual offenders - "Buyer assumes sole responsibility for researching conditions outside the boundaries of the Real Estate, such as, but not limited to: crime statistics, registration of sex offenders. . .and any other issures of relevance to the Buyer and acknowledges that Buyer has been given the opportunity to conduct research pertaining to off-site conditions. In making this offer, Buyer shall rely soley upon Buyer's own inquiry with local agencies...and is not relying on the Seller or any Realtor involved in the transaction." The Buyer stats in the purchase contract that they request X amount of days to complete inspections and respond to the Seller with the results of their inspections. I do not understand why a Buyer, especially one that is represented by a Realtor, would not check it out. If the Realtor reviews the purchase contract with the Buyer, as they should, this topic is part of the purchase contract. Buying a home can be overwhelming for some people and it is the Buyer's Realtor's responsibility to make sure the Buyer's best interest are being seen to and that nothing slips through the cracks. If the Buyer is aware of their rights to conduct a search, and fails to do so, that is unfortunate, but the Realtor has done their job.
Yes, there are a registered sex offenders living amongst us, it is a sad fact of life. Everyone has a right to know where they are. In my opinion, a house for sale with a registered sex offender living next door, or even a couple doors down, who has a view of the yard where the potential buyers children will be playing, will have an impact on the value of the property. I would not encourage anyone to take that situation lightly. That being said, if the registered sex offender is living a couple blocks away, it shouldn't have as great an impact (on marketability). Remember - location, location, location. In my market area, we have an over-supply of homes for sale, if a buyer doesn't want to live next door to a registered sex offender, they can easily find a home they like in a different location. But, like Sandy Nelson stated, a registered sexual offender can move in (or out) after the buyer closes on the home, or at any time. I recommend that home owners visit the sheriff's website and sign up for "email alerts" so they are informed when a registered sex offender moves in. If you know what you are dealing with, at any point in time, in any situation, you can take the necessary steps to deal with the situation and do your best to keep you & your loved ones safe.