Use of Disclosure Statement in Estate Sale

QUESTION: I’ve just taken a listing on a house that’s recently been inherited by the two children of their deceased mother, who had moved out of the house several years before her death.  Both children live in another state and neither of them had been in the house for quite awhile before their mother died.  A local attorney was named under the mother’s will to administer the estate.  Since it is an estate property, the children don’t have to complete a Residential Property Disclosure Statement, do they?

ANSWER: They will need to complete and provide a Disclosure Statement unless the transfer of the property is by the administrator of the estate.  The Residential Property Disclosure Act applies to the sale of all residential real property consisting of not less than one nor more than four dwelling units, but the Act does contains a number of exemptions.  Among the exemptions are “transfers by a fiduciary in the course of the administration of a decedent’s estate…”  However, transfers by a deceased person’s beneficiaries are not exempt.

It’s at least possible that a transfer of the property will be by the mother’s administrator rather than her children.  This could happen if the mother’s will gives her administrator the authority to sell the property or if a sale of the property becomes necessary to pay off debts of the estate.  You should check with the attorney handling the estate to get more information.  In the meantime, the prudent course of action would be to have the children complete a Disclosure Statement and provide it to interested buyers.

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