Does a seller have to disclose murder?

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10/31/2014 | Author: Editorial Staff

My seller told me that a murder occurred at her property before she owned it. Does she have to disclose this information to buyers?

Yes, she should disclose this to buyers. According to the Texas Property Code, sellers aren’t required to disclose deaths on the property that resulted from natural causes, suicide, or an accident unrelated to the property’s condition. However, murder does not fall into these categories.

Your seller can use the TAR Seller’s Disclosure Notice, which includes a question about deaths other than those caused by natural causes, suicide, or an accident unrelated to the property’s condition. The notice also provides space for the seller to explain her answer, but she isn’t required to. She might want to indicate that more information is available upon request.

A seller may want to disclose information about any deaths on the property for a few reasons. A murder occurring on the property might be considered a material fact concerning the property that a buyer would want to know when deciding whether to purchase the property. Also, disclosure by the seller could prevent a scenario where buyers learn about a death on the property from another source and then seek to terminate the contract or seek damages from the seller after the transaction has closed.

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Categories: Legal
Tags: sellers, seller's disclosure, discounts


Mary Lou on 08/27/2016

I got it, Disclose suicidal in the home, but for how long? this happened 17yrs ago?

Riley Floyd on 11/07/2014

I get that. I was just stating that the TAR Seller’s Disclosure does because the article specifically mentioned it.

Brad Bowen on 11/07/2014

Does she have to disclose this information to buyers? - proper answer - “no” - as proscribed by TREC, the regulatory authority.  To do otherwise could damage Seller and possibly create liability.

Riley Floyd on 11/07/2014

Yes TREC says nothing, but the TAR Seller’s Disclosure does under Sec. 5

Dan Koller on 11/03/2014

Nice choice of a publication date for this subject matter. It works better than, say, Dec. 25 or Feb. 14.

Brad Bowen on 11/01/2014

TREC says nothing about death.

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The material provided here is for informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be considered as legal advice for your particular matter. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Applicability of the legal principles discussed in this material may differ substantially in individual situations.

While the Texas Association of REALTORS® has used reasonable efforts in collecting and preparing materials included here, due to the rapidly changing nature of the real estate marketplace and the law, and our reliance on information provided by outside sources, the Texas Association of REALTORS® makes no representation, warranty, or guarantee of the accuracy or reliability of any information provided here or elsewhere on Any legal or other information found here, on, or at other sites to which we link, should be verified before it is relied upon.

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