Home Buying in San Diego>Question Details

Queenie Chen, Home Buyer in San Diego County, CA

Disclosures for Trust Sale

Asked by Queenie Chen, San Diego County, CA Thu Sep 19, 2013

There's a property Im very interested. I found the title is vested in someone as trustee of a trust. But the original trustee already died, and the seller who is authorized to sell the house just lived there many many years ago. So I am worried the seller can disclosure nothing about this house. So usually, which disclosures I still should get in this situation? Thank you

Help the community by answering this question:


For sales we do here in California where the person representing the estate is a trustee who has not lived in the property for a long time and has no reasonable recent history with the home, we provide a Trust Disclosure which states:

"The Property is being held in a revocable or irrevocable trust for the benefit of those persons or entities named as beneficiaries in the trust. For the purpose of the sale of the Property, the trustee of the trust is treated as the Seller. Many obligations imposed upon sellers, particularly sellers of real property containing one-to-four dwelling units, may not be applicable to the sale of the Property. However, even though Seller is exempt from many obligations, Seller must still comply with many others. Further, even though a Seller may be exempt from certain obligations, a real estate brokers obligations may still apply. This Advisory is intended to inform Buyer and Seller of their rights and obligations independent of those established by the contract between them."

It then goes on to delineate which disclosures are exempt and which are not. You will not receive a TDS, Seller Property Questionnaire, Supplemental TDS, Natural Hazard Disclosure and more. The seller (trustee) only has an obligation to disclose these IF they have lived in the home within the past year.

Regardless of what a trustee may or may not disclose, the disclosure goes on to state that they are NOT exempt from common law and statutory duties concerning fraud and deceit, even though the specific TDS Form is not required to be completed. Seller remains obligated to disclose known material facts affecting the value and desirability of the Property.

I'd recommend you ask your agent for a copy of this disclosure - it's the Trust Advisory, C.A.R. form TA.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 20, 2013
Hello, Queenie Chen,

The disclosures that you will get when buying from a trust are fewer than when buying from a natural person. After all, the trustee of the trust has not, in your words, lived in the house for many years and cannot be expected to know the condition of the house in the same way that an owner-occupant would. At the same time, knowledge of any material fact by the trustee which may impact your decision to buy or pay a certain price for the house must be disclosed.

You will still have the opportunity to do all inspections that you deem necessary to satisfy yourself about the condition of the house.

Your Realtor is the best source for a more detailed answer to your question. Of course, I believe that you should have your own Realtor and not use the seller’s agent in order to have someone representing YOUR best interests.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 21, 2013

There are so many variables involved with your question, we (like Shannon) would be reluctant to answer. We like to give home sellers and buyers advice, however, we are more concerned about giving you bad information.

Hire the necessary people to support you with your purchase.

Best of luck,

Mark & Kari Shea
Shea Real Estate
National Association of Realtors
CA BRE License 01713506
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 20, 2013
Hi, I would have to know more about the "seller who is authorized to sell the house" Are they a co-trustee or one of the original trustees? Is the trust revocable or non revocable? There are some criteria for disclosures on a trust and those answers need to be addressed. However, all these other things aside, even if a transfer disclosure statememt is not needed, the seller is NOT exempt from disclosing known issues about the home. Feel free to talk to me privately if you know the situation with the trust, or speak to a great real estate attorney, ( I have a great one I can refer you to)

Shannon Anderson
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 19, 2013
When the owner has not lived in the property, your disclosures will be minimal. Get yourself a great property inspector and do your own diligence....that's the best you can do.

Please let me know if I may assist you further!

Cindy Davis, Broker
SD Home Source Realty
Phone: (619) 379-8616
Email: cindydavishomes@gmail.com
Web: http://www.1sandiegohomesales.com
CA DRE #01363537
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 19, 2013
Are you trying to purchase this home without a Broker representing you? If so you can contact me to help guide you through the process
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 19, 2013
Certain Trusts are exempt from the Transfer Disclosure Statement. Regardless, if the seller hasn't lived in the property for years, the information you receive will be minimal. Must like REO sales. Hire a professional home inspector.
Good luck,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 19, 2013
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Email me when…

Learn more

Copyright © 2015 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer