Missouri Representative Charlie Davis is thinking out loud about pushing a new law that would put pressure on any sex offenders trying to buy a home in Missouri, and the real estate agent that helps them.
Sex offenders “have the right to live in a community if they want to, but it’s also the right of the families to know if there is a member in their community that is a convicted sex offender against children so we can make sure our children are aware of it and it doesn’t happen to them,” said Davis, R-Webb City.
Great point, but that’s already a law, as sex offenders are required to inform the neighborhood of their sex offender status, and in addition to that notice, anyone can look up area sex offenders via the state-run database and website. So what exactly is it you want to do again Mr. Davis?
The legislation calls for sex offenders who plan to buy property to report their criminal past to their real estate agent. The buyer’s real estate agent would need to disclose a client’s sex offender status to neighbors living within a half-mile after the deal is completed.
…even though the buyer / sex offender himself already has to do this.
The buyer’s real estate agent then would disclose that information in writing before the sale to the real estate agent for the seller.
Is Mr. Davis unaware of the current real estate market? This won’t matter to anyone at all. If you’re selling a house and are lucky enough to even get an offer these days you do not care who’s buying it. A buyer could tell you that “Your basement is perfect for my…um…chemistry set. If I run outside real quick, can you start screaming just so I can see if I can hear you?” and the seller’s response would be: “Sweet, lets do this. Who’s playing the closing costs?”
So in short, because there’s zero logical reason for an agent to incur the extra legal weight of having to tell everyone about their sex offender client, the point of this law is to simply make sure no real estate agent ever wants to help a sex offender find a house in Missouri? Brillant! Now, lets think, are there any flaws in this logic that would make this bill seem totally and completely pointless?
“While we do a lot of real estate business, the whole world doesn’t work through us,” said Sam Licklider, a lobbyist for The Missouri Association of Realtors.
Of course! You could just not use a real estate agent, totally foiling the law that actually doesn’t do a single thing to protect anyone from anything! Too bad Representative Davis, you’ll have to dip back in to the fishbowl full of little pieces of paper with issue buzzwords written on them and think of another new law that doesn’t do anything but sounds important enough that it will help with the next re-election…it’s either that or do actual work.