HELP: Accepted offer and now a post-acceptance death disclosure?

Asked by Dana White, Menlo Park, CA Fri Sep 26, 2008

My wife and I recently went into escrow on a ~$0.9M property in a reputable South Bay neighborhood. Based on all available online disclosures, we carefully proceeded and negotiated to an accepted "as-is" offer $40K lower than list. Today we had the inspections and (GASP) for the 1st time we learned that the owner (male) of the house died of natural causes in the living room over the summer!! The seller's agent did not have his agent disclosures online on the day of our offer, nor did our agent have them at her office during negotiations. My wife and I only got the information after we asked on the day of our inspection. In addition, our independent inspector found two major issues on the home which has been estimated at over $10K, one which should have be CLEARLY evident to the Seller's agent. Now we are confused / concerned and feeling like we're being manipulated. HELP TRULIA TEAM MEMBERS!

Question: What options do we have to

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Homa Moaddel, Agent, Foothill Ranch, CA
Fri Sep 26, 2008
Hi Dana,

Disclosure from the seller usually is provided after the acceptance. If you do not change the standard language of the CA purchase agreement(RPA-CA) you have 17 days to change you mind about buying the home. Within the 7 days after the acceptance of your offer the seller is obligated to provide you with disclosure. You are within your right if you decide not the buy the and your deposit will be return to you. If the 17 days has passed and you discover a new disclosure that was not reveal to you previously you will be provided additional 3 days.

If you have additional questions feel free to call or email me.


Broker Associate
Prudential California Realty
0 votes
Cristina Weg…, Agent, San Mateo, CA
Fri Sep 26, 2008
Hi Dana,

First of all, let me ask you when was your offer ratified? Also, how many days of property inspection contingency did you agent ask from the seller? Anyway, if you had the property inspection done today and had found 2 major issues on the home then by all means you are entitled to back out from the deal without being liquidated damage provided you are still within the property inspection contingency period. The reason for buyers to have their own property inspection is to make sure that the property is free from any major defects and other major issues that will stop buyers from purchasing the property . In most cases it will also help buyers to negotiate on the final purchase price (reduction or ask for credit back) if they have to repair the damage that needs to be done.

With regard to the death, it is by all means you can back out of the deal especially if both selling and buying agent has neglected to disclose this material fact to you (in which case you have mention that they both did). Death in the property needs to be disclose if it occur within 3 years with the exception of death cause by AIDS.

If you have more questions please feel free to email me at I hope i have enlighted you with regards to your question.
0 votes
The Hagley G…, Agent, Pleasanton, CA
Fri Sep 26, 2008
Deaths on the premises must be disclosed in the State of CA if they occured within 3 years of sale date.
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0 votes
Mott Marvin…, Agent, Sunny Isles Beach, FL
Fri Sep 26, 2008
I'm not so sure that the death is a required element to disclose. Does the death have a negative impact on the value of the property? Perhaps from a stigmatic point of view. In regards to the inspect and disclosure of defects- you have a valid claim.

Certain things must be disclosed, others do not. Obvious defects and dificiencies that are or should be clearly evident - must be disclosed.

Your options are to put your concerns in writing and submit them via certified mail to either rescind or get credit for the costs to remedy the deficiencies.
0 votes
Eric H. Wong , Agent, Albany, CA
Fri Sep 26, 2008
Hi Dana;
Every time there is a material disclosure made about a property from the seller, and yes a death is a material disclosure, you have 3 days from that disclosure to either get released from contract or open a new negotiation regarding that disclosure. You are not trapped.

Good Luck.
0 votes
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