Disclosing Death on a
San Diego Estate Property
One of the San Diego estate property seller disclosures that will be completed by the San Diego executor, administrator or trustee is the California Association of Realtor (CAR) Exempt Seller Disclosure (ESD). When selling a San Diego estate property, the seller is required to disclose what they know about the home. It’s important that as the seller you have a team to help protect the San Diego estate and yourself in the position of executor, administrator or trustee to disclose all material facts relating to the desirability and value of the San Diego estate property. In addition, as part of the transaction, sellers must answer certain questions that are asked on the CAR disclosure forms.
As your real estate advisor, you can count on me to be your guide by your side to help you complete all the important disclosure documents accurately. What’s important, to you, is that once a purchase agreement has been negotiated, the seller completed documents will be given to the buyer’s agent who will then present the San Diego seller disclosures to their buyer.
In regards to the very important CAR form ESD, the seller is obligated to disclose a death on the property. When completing the document, you will the asked:
Are you aware of… Item 1A – Within the last 3 years, the death of an occupant of the property upon the property? If the answer is “yes”, seller must answer truthfully and disclose both the occurrence and the manner of the death.
The three elements to consider are:
- Decedent was an occupant of the home
- Death occurred within the past three years
- Decedent died on the property
For example: when answering “yes”, the seller might write “my father passed away in the master bedroom of natural causes”. Death by natural causes is the most common occurrence. You can feel comfortable disclosing this information because experience shows most buyers do not have any concerns about a death on the property.
If the death occurred more than 3 years ago, or passed away in another location, not on the property, or the person who died was not an occupant of the home, then most of the time, the death does not need to be disclosed. If the death was particularly notorious and/or has stigmatized the property, it may be a material fact that affects the desirability and value of the home. Keep in mind, if everyone in the neighborhood knows of the death, it may be best to disclose the manner of the death on the property.
Strangely there is an exception to this; if the death was related to HIV/AIDS, the seller and listing agent must decline to answer even if asked. The reason for this exception is to avoid fair housing violations by the San Diego seller and the listing agent.
Having an experienced, compassionate real estate advisor, like me, on your team will help you to completely understand all the CAR disclosure documents, and the importance of what to disclose and how to fully disclose the answers. There’s a saying “we don’t know what we don’t know”, and I’ve found that to be true. I imagine you, like many other San Diego executors, administrators and trustees believe it’s important to feel comfortable throughout the transaction. This is one of the many important things about having a trusted guide by your side, protecting you and the estate.
Feel comfortable calling me at 619-741-0111 to talk about our exact circumstance and how I can help you press the easy button and feel comfortable throughout the transaction.