Disclosing a Death in the Sale of a Home

Are You Required to Disclose a Death in the Sale of Your Home?

This is a question that comes up often in the sale of a home and the answer may be… it DEPENDS.

It could depend on the date of the death, or the type of death for example. In some states like CA it’s a statutory disclosure requirement of the seller as stated by answering the question:

ARE YOU (SELLER) AWARE OF…1. Within the last 3 years, the death of an occupant of the Property upon the Property…Yes or No

This question and disclosure appears on the Supplemental Statutory Disclosure (CAR form SSD, 1 page disclosure) or it can be included in the SELLER PROPERTY PROPERTY QUESTIONNAIRE (CAR form SPQ, 4 page disclosure) both of which are to be completed by the SELLER and not the agents in the transaction.

In some circumstances it may be required to disclose a death even beyond the 3 years as in CA. Possibly something like murder or violent death in a property. It could be an issue for some, yet not others.

In some states it may be required to disclose (honestly) if asked by the buyers, yet may possible not be a statutory requirement. It’s best to check with the proper professional in your state.

Yet when in doubt, why not make the disclosure in advance? If it’s an issue for your buyers, find out right up front and move on.  Remember this, if you don’t tell them, the neighbors will!

This post is not intended to be legal advice, you’re advised to consult with the proper professional within your state. The statutory requirement mentioned above is the requirement of the State of CA and the licensing jurisdiction for the broker in this post.

Written by Class Instructor: Lynda Eisenmann

I maintains an active residential re-sale brokerage in Brea, CA, located in Orange County, about 20 minutes north of Disneyland. Contact Lynda directly at (714) 595-1494, or Lynda@PreferredHomeBrokers.comCA License #00402040

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