Bernie, Home Seller in San Francisco, CA

revealing owner died in her home on the intenet; good idea. Everything was removed; no furniture or staging; bad idea? new paint and floors

Asked by Bernie, San Francisco, CA Sat Oct 15, 2011

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Rich Bennett 415.305.4911-cell’s answer
Hi Bernie-

I'm sorry to hear about your loss.

It would be best to make note of the death in the private agent section only of the MLS listing. Of course it should be disclosed to rpsoective buyers as required by law.

Regarding staging, the answer is yes! Staging helps immensely. I've seen it time and time again where buyers have a hard time visualising their things in a space if it's not staged. Also, a great staging job can make the home feel comfortable and give the buyer a sense of "wow, I could be living here!".

Rich Bennett, Realtor

Zephyr Real Estate
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 15, 2011
It occurs to me that you would benefit if only offers from SERIOUS buyers were extended. If the home has attributes that are real 'show stoppers' by suppressing this information you indirectly attract buyers who can not be serious about this property. You create unnecessary imposition on your life and busy work for your agent. Potential 'show stopper' information such as violent crime in the house, foundation deficiencies, active leaks etc will all be discovered. Disclose them up front, eliminate the not serious buyers, and don't compel the buyer to spend their money to discover what is being held in secret.

As far as staging...depends on the house, price and area market. Staging is a great tool for de-emphasizing other deficiencies.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 15, 2011
Hi Bernie,

In CA, you have to disclose if someone died in the house within the last 3 years.

Shanna Rogers
SR Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 15, 2011
Different states and jurisdictions have vastly different disclosure laws. California might require you to disclose the death of someone IN the home. You will want to check with your listing agent or an escrow attorney to get the regulations on the necessary disclosures.

Material defects as mentioned below will need to be disclosed, if you know of them, or could have knowledge of them.

I always suggest staging a home even if it is not a full job. Accent tables and lamps here and there, towels and shower curtains and some pictures hung strategically can make a huge difference.

Does the house have new paint and floors, or are you asking if you should do them? this would be a matter of cost vs return on investment. It would also be a question of sellability. Think about your target market...will they have the cash to fix things up after the sale, or will they likely need a home that is move in ready.

Staging will help you hide some of the small cosmetic defects so that buyers don't see a vacant room and every small scratch or dent on the wall.

Good luck,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 15, 2011
It would not be a marketing plan I would support. New paint and floors would be a good idea if done well.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 15, 2011
Hi, Most buyers make their decision by what they see on the internet. You will most likely prevent activity and hinder the sale. Get people into the home and then if necessary do your disclosure.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 15, 2011
What would be the point? You want to get as many potential buyers through to look at the house as possible. Material defects (for example a crack in the foundation, a leaky roof, etc.) must be disclosed, however, I am not sure the fact that someone died in the home would fall into that category.

The link below should provide some guidance as to what is and is not a 'material defect' and the duties of a home seller to disclose them.

I would consider some staging, even if it's just a piece of furniture or two and some fresh flowers. And new paint and floors are absolutely a plus!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 15, 2011
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