What does an estate’s executor have to disclose to buyers?

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01/15/2016 | Author: Editorial Staff

My client was named the executor of his mother’s estate after she passed away, and now he’s planning to sell the house she owned. He hasn’t lived in the property, so he has no idea if there are any existing issues. Is he still required to furnish a Seller’s Disclosure Notice to potential buyers? 

No. Certain types of sellers, like an administrator or executor of an estate, are not required to provide a seller’s disclosure notice to prospective buyers. The seller should check the box in Paragraph 7B(3) to show that the Seller’s Disclosure Notice is not required. This situation is one of the 11 exemptions found in the Texas Property Code statute regulating seller’s disclosure notices. Click here to see the code, and scroll down to Section 5.008(e), which lists the exemptions. 

Remember that even though this type of seller is not required to provide a disclosure notice, he must still disclose any known material defects. 

Read more legal FAQs on texasrealestate.com.  

Categories: Forms, Legal, Sellers
Tags: seller's disclosure, disclosure, seller's disclosure notice, legal, legal faq, forms


Brian on 01/22/2016

Jarod- Sorry, but the writer is correct.  The fact that the executor is related to the owner does not mean he has to fill out the Seller’s Disclosure Notice. The exemption in the property code is for a fiduciary in the course of the administration of a decedent’s estate, which in the above example, he is exempt. The fact that it was his mother’s house doesn’t automatically mean he has any ownership interest in the property. There is nothing in the property code, however, that prohibits an administrator or executor from filling out the disclosure if they wish.

Jarod Marcus on 01/21/2016

This seems to be the most misunderstood situation in Texas real estate.  The writer is WRONG.  A court appointed executor IS exempt IF they have no ownership interest in the property.  In the example above, the executor is an HEIR.  Heirs are owners.  Not living in the property does not excuse an owner from providing the notice.  There are boxes on the disclosure to answer “Unknown”, and page one has a place to indicate that the owner has never lived in the property.

Melissa Walters on 01/21/2016

If the property is purchased at a mortgage foreclosure auction sale does the new owner of the property have to fill out a sellers disclosure? What if the property was renovated prior to selling it is the disclosure necessary?

Lindsey on 01/15/2016

Thanks Christine! So, I have a complicated situation where I represented a buyer who purchased a home, remodeled it and later found out that a murder had occurred on the property. He purchased the home from the neighbor, who purchased it from the executor of this woman’s (who was murdered) estate - not sure if he was the heir but was her son and there wasn’t a husband in the picture. The neighbor did not disclose the murder to my buyer, and checked the “no” box on the seller’s disclosure when asked about a murder occurring on the property.  The neighbor also lived next door at the time of the murder. The buyer I represented has met with different attorneys but it seems like most are not sure what the rules are around this.

Christine Rollins on 01/15/2016

I had this exact same situation a couple years ago. According to TAR legal help back then my client was NOT required as the executor but WAS required as the heir. The buyer’s agent had been told this by an attorney she knew and we, the seller’s side, verified it with legal hotline. Can you clarify this being different from your answer here?

Lindsey on 01/15/2016

Would “any known material defect” include if the person who owned the home was murdered and the executor was the owner’s son or daughter?

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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.

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