With Halloween coming up, it’s only natural that we’d write an article that had a bit of a dark undertone to it. Today, we will discuss whether or not a seller must disclose that a death occurred in their house. As a practical matter, everyone is aware that they need to disclose latent physical defects, but most people don’t know whether potential ghosts must be disclosed.
In California, any death within the last three (3) years must be disclosed regardless of whether the buyer asks. If the buyer does ask about death in the home, the seller is obligated to disclose all known deaths in the home. Of course, the rules change in relation to violent deaths in the home (e.g., murder); a seller must disclose whether or not a murder occurred on their property.
As in all cases, you simply cannot make misrepresentations. Thus, if a buyer asks about deaths in the home, you must respond truthfully, or potential answer for your lies in Court. As a matter of best practice, it is always in your best interest to be upfront with potential buyers.
At the Chernov Team we understand that knowledge is power, and knowledge of your legal obligation of disclosure is powerful knowledge indeed. At the Chernov Team we know that whoever comes to the table most prepared leaves with the most, and the Chernov Team always leaves the table with the most.