Estates are exempt from seller’s disclosure forms | Just Ask Jan

Dear Jan: We recently lost our daughter. We have been told that we need to sell her home to settle her estate.

Dear Jan: We recently lost our daughter.  We have been told that we need to sell her home to settle her estate.   We know so little about the house as it is in a different town than ours.  We don’t want to misrepresent things but are at a loss as to how to fill out the seller’s disclosure statement; marking “don’t know” on each box doesn’t feel right. Have you dealt with this issue before and what do you suggest?  — GW

Dear GW: First, my condolences. I am sorry for your loss.

In regards to the seller’s disclosure form, I have good news for you; estates are exempt from filling them out. They are exempt for the very reason you talked about: How can you answer questions about the home when you did not own it or live in it? The state law took that into consideration when it was created.

For other readers, let me explain. The form has check boxes next to each question, i.e. Has the roof leaked within the last five years? The boxes are for Yes, No or Don’t Know.

I always tell my sellers, “What you don’t know you can’t be sued for. What you do know and hide, that is a different issue. Fill out the form to the best of your knowledge.”

It is a good law that protects the buyer. A buyer has three days from the receipt of the form to rescind from the transaction if they don’t like what is disclosed in the statement.

Choose a good real estate broker to help you through the process. I hope this puts your mind at ease. 
— Jan

— Jan Zufelt is a real estate columnist for the Kingston Community News. Contact her at


More in Business

Search downtown this weekend — for painted rocks

POBSA merchants will hold drawing for those who post selfies with their rock

Port Orchard Chamber establishes COVID-19 resource page on its website

Links listed for national, state and county websites of benefit to business people

South Kitsap Properties opens new office in Port Orchard

Real estate office is on Bethel Avenue

IRS tax filing season starts Jan. 27

The deadline to file 2019 tax returns is Wednesday, April 15

Wave Broadband to increase costs of some TV services

Rate increases to take effect Feb. 1

Village Greens Golf Course wins Community edg3 Award

Bothell shoe company wins grand-prize award from Kitsap Bank

Kitsap Bank rewarded for community involvement

Also: Jackie Smith appointed branch manager at its Bethel and Lund branch

Kenneth Robert Nelson

March 12, 1933 – Oct. 8, 2019

Tornado spawns renewal of Bethel Avenue cafe and lounge

Establishment returns with a new name: Ruby Slipper Bar Grill

Port Orchard vaping business has empty shelves due to ban

New Way Vapors can’t sell its half-million-dollar inventory

Cheers restaurant to be razed for mixed-use building

Property owner plans to build 39 residential units and offer commercial space

KEDA to hold business forum Oct. 24 in Bremerton

Forum begins at 3 p.m. at the Kitsap Conference Center; tickets start at $55