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Thought I'd put this question out there because in the past 6 months, I have shown at least 3 houses that I believe were Meth Labs. None of these homes were my listings and in bringing the topic up to the listing agents, I got a reaction like "okay thanks for telling me" and I had the feeling that these agents did not have a clue as to: 1. The fact that a "meth lab" can be located in any neighborhood, within any class and income level; 2. What the signs and symptoms were 3. The possible serious effects of being exposed to a past or present Meth Lab;
5 Signs Your Listing May Have Once Been a Meth Lab
This is a gray area as far as disclosure, because an agent may have no clue they are even showing a current or former Meth Lab and as you have heard recently, there are horror stories of buyers purchasing homes which have been used as Meth Labs that have caused them to become sick; Some have even had to "walk away" from their house because of the sometimes very expensive remedies for correcting a house with traces of meth throughout. Before you say, "how could an agent not know they are showing a Meth Lab", read the following fact:
Meth Labs can be setup in a small space such as a closet, a box, garage and any small area of a house; How many of us have showed our buyers a house that has that one locked room where the Sellers say they have valuables or "weapons" and will not allow access; As an agent, I have gotten into the habit of scanning a room before I enter it and also reading the body language of Sellers. That is why on a recent showing, when me and the buyers were about to enter a home where Sellers were present, the first thing I noticed was a "pantry" near the entrance to the kitchen that had 3 hinges on each side of the door with a pad lock on each hinge; VERY STRANGE; My antennae went up that they this was possibly a Meth Lab based on the fact that the husband made sure we did not get anywhere near this "pantry"; The husband had physical symptoms: rotted teeth, an emaciated appearance, and a sunken face, however, these could be symptoms of some other illnesses or problems, so I don't solely rely on a person's looks; The convincing point came when me and the buyer walked a few steps into the kitchen and the smell of rotten eggs and ammonia overwhelmed both of us; In addition, our eyes starting burning; I quickly asked my buyer to come outside with me and on the way out noticed the blue discoloration around the fire extinguishers; I explained to her that I believed the home had dangerous fumes that I did not want her or myself to be exposed to and kindly informed the Sellers we were leaving; As I am not a "Meth Expert" and only rely on information and previous experiences to determine whether a house was or currently is a Meth Lab, I did not pass this opinion onto the Buyer or Seller.
A question I pose to other agents on this forum is: Have you been in this situation and would you disclose to a potential buyer or seller that you believe a property is a "Meth Lab"? I'd love your feedback.