Seller's Disclosure - Death on Property?

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Real Estate

When looking to purchase a home, do you think a death on the property should be disclosed or not?  Does or does not the seller have a responsibility to disclose a previous death on the property?  Many people assume that deaths on a property will be disclosed.  However, this is not the case. 

The TREC statute that addresses this issue does not require disclosure of deaths by natural causes, suicide, or accidents unrelated to the condition of the property.  However, deaths caused by an accident related to a condition of the property needs to be disclosed.  Even if the condition related to the death has been remedied such as a proper pool enclosure installed after a drowning death caused by inadequate enclosure.  Also, a death by unnatural causes, such as murder on the property requires disclosure.

As a Realtor, my practice regarding death disclosure is as follows.  For buyers, I ask what their feelings are regarding a death on the property.  If they have an aversion I will be sure to ask the question about death on the property prior to submitting an offer for them.   For sellers, I will suggest that they go ahead and disclose any death on the property since neighbors will likely inform the buyers about the death  – even if the death, is by law not required to be disclosed.  This helps mitigate any potential problems along the road.  General rule of thumb is to disclose, disclose, disclose...