The owner of a home that I have been leasing and managing recently passed away. Her will left the property to her son and daughter. Her son is also the independent executor of her estate. When listing the property for sale, the son, who is an attorney, told me that he is not required to provide a seller’s disclosure notice. Is he right?

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  • The owner of a home that I have been leasing and managing recently passed away. Her will left the property to her son and daughter. Her son is also the independent executor of her estate. When listing the property for sale, the son, who is an attorney, told me that he is not required to provide a seller’s disclosure notice. Is he right?

Section 5.008 of the Texas Property Code lists the statutory exceptions to the seller’s disclosure notice requirements. While he is acting in the capacity as executor for his mother’s estate, the son is exempt under the fifth exception listed in that section. However, neither the son nor the daughter as heirs and owners of the property are exempt from the statutory requirement. Even if a seller is exempt from the seller’s disclosure requirements of Section 5.008, all sellers have an obligation to disclose known defects about their property. Failure to do so exposes them to liability under the Deceptive Trade Practices Act or other civil laws. As listing agent and property manager, it is appropriate for you to share your property file and personal knowledge about defects of or problems with the property with the son and daughter so that they can incorporate that information into their seller’s disclosure notice. Information that you have about the property could be the focus of any subsequent suit involving withholding information concerning the condition of the property. Licensees have a duty to disclose to any potential purchaser any significant defects that they know about the property even if the seller does not disclose that information. Failure to do so may result in sanctions by TREC or civil liability. Finally, since the son and daughter are the owners of the property, they should both sign your listing agreement and any contract on the property.

Source: TAR

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