If selling or buying a home is in your future, you're likely well versed the entire process, from the initial offer to closing. But are you aware that disclosing a death in the home may be required? The rules vary by state. Here's what you need to know.
Property Disclosure Documents
No matter how perfect a house looks on the outside, there is often property information a buyer needs to disclose before the sale can go through. Property disclosure documents reveal known structural issues, neighborhood nuisances, hazards, HOA details, water damage, notable repairs made to the home and death in the home.
Rules for reporting a death in the home vary by state, and variations in rules may include:
To be more specific, here are three death disclosure examples as stated from experts or articles based in Texas, New Jersey, and California:
For a state by state guide on disclosure laws we recommend visiting this resource on Nolo.com.
How to Search Property Records
If you'd like to do your own sleuthing and search property records, look no further than DiedInHouse.com. Founded in 2013, this website promises to instantly search millions of records to determine if a death has occurred at any valid U.S. address.
In a 2015 interview with Forbes.com, founder Roy Condrey stated, "I went online to find a ‘Carfax’ of sorts for deaths in homes and I didn’t find anything, but I did find pages and pages of people asking if there’s a way to find out if their house is haunted."
The service isn't free, though. Once you enter an address, you're prompted to pay a minimum of $11.99 for a single search. The report will, however, provide a number of property records including meth labs, fire, death, and registered sex offender information.
Remediating After a Death in a Home
If a death recently occurred in the home you're hoping to purchase, there may have been biohazards from bloodborne pathogens that required remediation. Consider asking the seller how the death was remediated to ensure proper steps were taken. Remediation processes may vary depending on the location of the death, how the death occurred, types of flooring, and if the death was undiscovered for days or weeks.
Bio-One technicians are trained and equipped to properly disinfect biohazards from bloodborne pathogens, and we ensure safe biohazard material handling and disposal. Once the entire area is cleaned of blood and body fluids, we also help property owners restore the location to its pre-incident state.
If you are selling a home and need a biohazard remediated or want to ensure remediation was done correctly, give Bio-One a call. Our experts not only contain and disinfect the dangerous biological materials, we carry out our work in a caring and private manner. Find a Bio-One team near you.
If you like to hold onto things, try these steps to help declutter your life.
1. Pick one section a day to tackle. For example, this might be your shoes or office.
2. Ask yourself if you want to keep something and create a yes, no, and maybe pile.
3. Get rid of your no's and set aside your yes's. Your maybe pile should be considered carefully. If the item is useful and you need it - keep it. If you are keeping it because you might use it but never have, consider getting rid of it.
4. Do this for each category in your home that needs decluttering.
5. Throw items away, donate to charity, or sell some for some extra cash.
If you know of someone in need of our services, please take a look at our locations to find the nearest Bio-One office near you. Stay safe!