Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist, Probate Real Estate  (KD Realty - 408.972.1822)

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Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Even if I knew, my response would be "I'm sorry, that's not relevant to the property"

Oct 22, 2021 03:02 PM
Gary Frimann, CRS, GRI, SRES
Eagle Ridge Realty / Signature Homes & Estates - Gilroy, CA
REALTOR and Broker

Here's my reply:  "I asked, but they never answered."

Oct 22, 2021 03:03 PM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

If you want to throw them for a loop, maybe just say, "Um, the seller's not dead, why do you ask?"


Oct 22, 2021 06:12 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

I've never been asked that. I have been asked on estate sales if the seller died at home. That's a question I can understand. Age of seller, not so much, unless they are planning next to ask if they died at home. If asked, I answer truthfully, but I don't volunteer the information.

Oct 22, 2021 01:55 PM
Peter Mohylsky. BRIX REALTY
Brix Realty - Destin - Miramar Beach, FL

You answer truthfully if you know the answer.  

Oct 22, 2021 01:45 PM
Doug Dawes
Keller Williams Realty Evolution - Topsfield, MA - Georgetown, MA
Your Personal Realtor®

I don't know but it's not really anything that will help sell the property

Oct 23, 2021 07:41 AM
Diana Zaccaro Broker Associate
Tropical Beachside brokered by eXp - Cocoa Beach, FL
"The Accidental Blogger" Cocoa Beach, Florida

That is a strange question and I would probably be so surprised to hear it that I would not have a ready answer so I would ask "Why do you want to know?" to give me a minute to think of a response. Usually when I ask why they want to know, they don't have a good reason/answer for asking so I just say that I don't know which is the truth.


Oct 22, 2021 08:48 PM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Kathleen - Over the years, I have learned people ask all sorts of questions and our state has its share(or perhaps more than that) of disclosure laws.  Follow the laws as they exist in the jurisdiction you practice.  Local representation matters.   Sure, people can ask, that doesn't mean one needs or has to answer.  

Oct 22, 2021 07:04 PM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Never had that question, but would have to say, Not Information I Can Share! 

Oct 23, 2021 06:21 AM
Steve Higgins
RE/MAX Kelowna - Kelowna, BC

Here we do not have to disclose if there was a death in the home. I probably was ask why they  need to know the age, what difference does it make if they were 35 or 85? They have passed away there are many medical reason a person can pass from at any age. 

Oct 22, 2021 10:12 PM
Susan Emo
Sotheby's International Realty Canada - Brokerage - Kingston, ON
Kingston and the 1000 Islands Area

I don't know of any reason to keep it a secret:  if I know, I'll share.  They're going to discover it anyway so I'd rather it come from me and get it over and done with. 

Oct 22, 2021 07:12 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

It's not relevant to the sale of the property. Can't say I have even known the age of a seller who died in the home and would say I don't know. And if by chance I was aware I would let them know I am not in a position to share that information.

Oct 22, 2021 04:03 PM
Harry Norman, REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Associate Broker

That's a first for me Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist 

I would have to say, I don't know, I will find out and get back to you. 

Oct 23, 2021 06:24 PM
Karen Climer
Demetree School of Real Estate - Orlando, FL
Teaching people to pass the real estate exam

"Why do you ask?"  

It is a peculiar question.

Oct 23, 2021 03:20 PM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Real Estate Agent Retired

You've got some great answers. I can't think of any better ones. Totally irrelevant to the sale.

I honestly do not ever know how old my sellers are & never ask the question.

Oct 23, 2021 07:05 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

I would thank them for the call and ask if there are other questions relating to the property.  

Oct 23, 2021 06:15 AM
Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
A moving experience!

I could respond honestly and say "I'm sorry, I don't know the answer"... if they persist and ask me to find out I would say "It's really not relevant to the sale, I'm not going to ask my seller that question."

Oct 23, 2021 05:59 AM
Buzz Mackintosh
Mackintosh REALTORS - Frederick, MD
“Experience, reliable, leadership”

I agree with Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400. Why do they need to know? If an obituary was published it can be found that way or the death certificate is needed for settlement. It's not the REALTORS place to disclose that information.

Oct 23, 2021 04:43 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Irrelevant. No duty to disclose in states where I have been active.

Oct 23, 2021 04:03 AM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

My answer would be: " Please tell me just why are you asking that question?"

 Note: If the deceased person is on the title, you will need a death certificate and that always shows the person's age.

Oct 22, 2021 09:35 PM
Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®
Carmel by the Sea, CA
Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea

If I knew, I'd say.  Unless the deceased is a protected class like HIV. 

Oct 22, 2021 04:24 PM
Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

What Tammy Lankford, said.  


If you (the questioner) must know, check the obituaries or call the Coroner's office.

Oct 22, 2021 04:14 PM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA
https://HugginsHomes.com - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

I don't think I've ever known the age and I don't recall anyone ever asking for a specific age.  "Elderly" or "in their <insert decade here>" is the extent that I've ever known.

Oct 22, 2021 03:06 PM
John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Hello Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist it is helpful to answer information required by law.

Oct 22, 2021 03:03 PM
Eileen Burns
Trans State Commercial RE Ft. Lauderdale/Miami/Palm Beach - Fort Lauderdale, FL
FLorida Real Estate Connector

Ask the neighbors, they know more than most.   😎 Never asked any buyer or seller their age unless it is an age restricted community they are seeking to purchase.

I once sold a home where a homicide took place and had to disclose.  Age never came up.  We also have to record a death certificate with the County within 10 days of passing. 

Oct 23, 2021 11:22 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

Thank you ALL for your comments. Fun reading here. There are many details missing in most all questions here in the Rain.

I appreciate all of your takes and perspectives on this question.  AR Rocks!

Oct 23, 2021 07:55 AM
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

My sense is that the agent is trying to get at whether the death was caused by trauma or suicide, e.g. if the person were young, or if quite elderly, if died in the home, which spooks some buyers. In the state of Connecticut, that sort of disclosure is not mandated. The simple answer might be that the information is not relevant. The question should not have been raised to put you in that awkward position.

Oct 23, 2021 06:26 AM
Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041
ReMax Realtec Group - Palm Harbor, FL
Making FLORIDA Real Estate EZ

"Why do you ask?" would be my response.
I can learn, protect and abide by the law, which in FL does not require disclosure even when a machete massacre had occured.
When they respond I 'll know whether to direct them to a exorcist, new home community or prceed from the 'never mind' response they may give.
I do like having the ACE up my sleeve, "The seller isn't dead."
Or, somewhere in the history of this dirt I'm sure someone died.

Oct 23, 2021 04:59 AM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

I respond by telling the agent the truth, Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist 

I am assuming that the prior owner died in the house. If not, the question is out of line.

If so, I do not see the question as unusual or offensive or off-base. We are required to disclose if there was a death on/in the property within the last three years. I am assuming that is the case here. Buyers often take comfort in believing that a death of an older person is "part of life" while the death of a younger person could lead to more questions.

If the answer to the question is a problem with the buyer move to another buyer. 

Oct 27, 2021 06:30 PM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

It is subjective and I am sure there is a reason for asking. In keeping with professionalism and good neighbor policy, I will decide in the moment what to do or not. I have found that to be the most effective & fulfilling approach

Oct 23, 2021 01:22 PM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, EXP - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

That would be an easy "I dont know".

Oct 23, 2021 12:29 PM
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC
Carolina Life RealEstate & Relocation 919-602-8489

May I ask, why is that important? 


I probably didn't ask the seller and wouldn't because that doesn't seem appropriate. I think it would be viewed as rude and inconsiderate here in the south. 

Oct 23, 2021 10:14 AM
Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES
Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch! - Spring Hill, FL
Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living

Dead people do and cannot sell anything. 

Oct 23, 2021 06:26 AM
Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000 - Phoenix, AZ

It's none of their business....period!

Oct 24, 2021 12:52 PM
Tony Lewis
Summit Real Estate Group - Valencia, CA
Summit Real Estate Group Valencia & Aliso Viejo

I would share the information allowed by law.

Oct 24, 2021 09:33 AM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

I would not respond to that specific question since it is too close to violation of fear housing laws.  

Death on the property is considered a ''material fact'' and must be disclosed if it is within 3 years. We usually disclosure it in the MLS private remarks, agent disclosure & sellers disclosures after the offer accepted.

However... unfortunately, it is not always ''peaceful and natural'' death and such cases can be the most difficult since the agent has to carefully balance between confidentiality and required disclosures.  


Nov 19, 2021 10:20 PM