The Ethicist
Our mother committed suicide at home, and now we're selling her house. Potential buyers know that the owner died but do not know how. Under the law, we're not required to tell them about a death on the property. If asked directly, we would let them know, but do we have an ethical duty to volunteer this information?
A potential buyer may be put off by the suicide. The desire to have your home life unclouded by associations with grim death is not unreasonable; the fear of ghostly manifestations is goofy but not unknown. Your coping with your mother's loss supersedes a buyer's claim to this information; your pursuit of profit does not. In this latter case, you should strive for the transparency that underpins honest transactions.
Isaac Chotiner