Are NC real estate sellers required to disclose a death?


Home buying

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The process of buying and selling a home requires full transparency between a buyer and seller — and a whole lot of detail.

As a buyer, you might want to know if someone has died on the property.

A death by murder or suicide may make a home less appealing to some buyers, but are sellers required to reveal the information before signing on the dotted line?

Here’s what to know about death disclosure laws in North Carolina.

Do you have to report if someone died at your house?

North Carolina law does not require homeowners or real estate agents to disclose any death that has occurred in the home.

However, if a potential buyer asks, the seller is required to divulge the information.

California, Alaska and South Dakota are the only states where sellers are required to reveal if a death occurred in the home, according to Redfin.

What do homeowners have to disclose to buyers?

The Residential Property Disclosure Act requires North Carolina sellers to complete a Residential Property and Owners’ Association Disclosure Statement — a form that discloses the condition of a property and its defects.

The form must include the condition of:

  • The water supply and sewer system

  • The roof, chimney, floors, foundation, basement and any other structural components

  • The plumbing, heating, cooling and any other electrical systems

Sellers must also disclose any infestations of wood-destroying insects, and the presence of lead-based paint, asbestos, radon gas, methane gas or any other toxic material.

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Evan Moore is a service journalism reporter for the Charlotte Observer. He grew up in Denver, North Carolina, where he previously worked as a reporter for the Denver Citizen, and is a UNC Charlotte graduate.

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