when selling a home does the seller have to let the buyer know someone has passed away in that home?

Asked by Debbie Baumann, Perris, CA Sun Oct 6, 2013

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Temple Strat…, Agent, Brea, CA
Wed Oct 8, 2014
This is simple! Disclose! Disclose! Disclose! Always Full Disclosure!
0 votes
Fred Hayes, Agent, Fullerton, CA
Thu Jul 17, 2014
The primary authority on this subject in California is Civil Code section 1710.2, which states that "no cause of action arises against an owner of real property or his or her agent, or any agent of a transferee of real property, for the failure to disclose to the transferee the occurrence of an occupant's death upon the real property, or the manner of death where the death has occurred more than three years prior to the date the transferee offers to purchase the real property . . . ." However, section (d) of the statute indicates that "notwithstanding subdivision (a), an owner of real property or his or her agent has a duty to disclose the occurrence of an occupant's death upon the real property, or the manner of death of which they have knowledge, in any case where the transferee makes an inquiry concerning deaths related to the property."

So the general rule is that a death within three years of the offer should be disclosed, and that any known death should be disclosed upon specific inquiry by the buyer.

There are a few clarifications that may apply: (a) A "notorious" death such as a murder, or infamous murder, may be an exception. For instance, a buyer's attorney might argue that the notoriety and its effect on the property create separate issues from the death itself; (b) Some cultures often are concerned with death on a property, particularly depending on the age of the decedent and circumstances. In these circumstances, the issue is likely to arise at some stage and disclosure may prevent a late cancellation or other problems; and (c) Many brokers and agents may feel that a death should be disclosed regardless of time or circumstances. If a death has occurred, the issue can be discussed with your agent as to what course seems appropriate.
0 votes
Steve McFady…, Agent, Huntington Beach, CA
Sun Mar 23, 2014
Seems some people think its a maybe. Its not, its definite yes. Full disclosure every time in my book
0 votes
Tommy and Li…, Agent, Laguna Niguel, CA
Thu Dec 12, 2013
In California, the seller(s) has to disclose if a person passed away on the property within the past three years. I would always advise my clients to disclose the death, even if the person had passed away more than three years ago. It's always better to disclose because the neighbors will surely let the new homeowners know about the death that occured.

Tommy & Lisa
0 votes
Ingrid Ski R…, Agent, Mission Viejo, CA
Tue Oct 8, 2013
That depends
Your standard answer will be yes if in the last three years by law. Now outside of that time period if the person in the home died by murder then probably you know the neighbors will be the first to tell the new owners So disclosure is always better.

Ingrid Ski Realtor
0 votes
Rochelle Cha…, Agent, Mission Viejo, CA
Mon Oct 7, 2013
If it was within 3 years of selling the property then you do have to disclose it.
0 votes
Cindy Davis, Agent, San Diego, CA
Mon Oct 7, 2013
In California, if the owner passed away in the past 3 years, then yes. That question is on one of the seller disclosures.
0 votes
Jeremy Lehman, Agent, Garden Grove, CA
Sun Oct 6, 2013
As stated before, within the last 3 years. If you're selling, threre are some great marketing strategies you can employ to make this a non issue for most buyers.
0 votes
, ,
Sun Oct 6, 2013
If it happened in the last three years yes. A death is considered a material fact which is something that could change the buyers mind if they had knows. Some people care and others don't. I would strongly urge you to disclose if in the 3 year time period. Nobody enjoys a lawsuit...
0 votes
Joe Homs, Agent, Laguna Hills, CA
Sun Oct 6, 2013
Yes Debbie it a required disclosure. If you need some help selling your home or have any questions you can contact me directly.

Joe Homs, Realtor
Web Reference:  http://thehomsteam.com
0 votes
Joe Van Foss…, Agent, Fullerton, CA
Sun Oct 6, 2013
Yes, if the death occurred within the past 3 years.


Joe Van Fossen
Keller Williams Realty
0 votes
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