Death on Property - How Much Does This Decline Property Value?

13 Replies

Hi BP!

I'm looking into to purchasing a flip property where the owner recently died in the home. The after reno value of this property,without a death in the home, will be around $400k. How much decrease in value should I consider for disclosing a death on the property?

Can't imagine that it matters unless it was a messy crime scene or something.  Curious to see responses from realtors or investors who have dealt with such. 


The property value is lower when you are buying it not selling it.

@Amber Emerson undefined

Depends on the cause of death, how long ago it happened, severity of the death. If an older woman died of a heart attack, buyers can easily over look this. If someone was murdered on the property, people will look at it as taboo. 

Here's an extreme case:

Coincidentally, I had a similar situation. The property listing had expired so I gave the owner a call to see if he was interested in selling. He said yes. I started advertising this property to a number of investors including Bigger Pockets. Later  get the Sellers Disclosure from the previous agent who had it listed & I find out that a father had come to his ex wife's home and killed her parents & his 4 children. Once I let the investors know, no one wanted to touch it! If an investor won't touch it.... why would a home buyer? Again, this is an extreme case, but I think it says something about death on a property.

What was cause of death? From my understanding, you don't NEED to disclose the death if it wasn't caused by the property. However, whoever is looking to buy the property will find out about it one way or another (neighbors, other realtors, google, etc.)

The subject property is a probate sale so I'm assuming the deceased was an elderly person. In California this type of death would have to be disclosed for 3 years so I would likely still have to disclose to potential buyers after the property is renovated and back on the market. I was interested to see if anyone had any decrease in value for sales in this type of situation.  I would hate to purchase assuming I can sell at market value and then have to sell for less due to the disclosure. 

I'm actually in the process of flipping a house that both the wife, and the husband died; although several years apart. It didn't bother me until I removed some cedar paneling and found some writing they'd done in 1978 regarding how much fun they'd had decorating the place, and asking anyone that found their note to love the house as much as they did!! When I sell the house, I won't mention it, but I think about it every night while I'm working late. When it's time to have an open house, I'm sure the neighbors will stop by, and may very possibly re-tell the story to anybody listening about the day the ambulance came and took old Bruce away... I just hope it won't affect the sale!

CA requires you to report natural occurring deaths in a home for 3 years???!!!!!!

Here in Texas, unless it was a murder, or resulted from something having to do with the property, I wouldn't say anything.

My daughter actually bought a house where an elderly woman passed away. It didn't bother my daughter in the least. 

@Gavin Peacock I'd tell the story about uncovering the notes between the couple. 

I agree with Karen. Gavin, you should share that story, new buyers could feel an emotional connection to the home. 

if your listened to any of Mike Cantu's talks, he reminds listeners that most every house in LA built before 1970 was probably owned by someone now deceased. 

It's a non-issue unless you draw attention to it. 

Many times, owners die but not while at home. They are removed by ambulance, not by coroner. They subsequently are determined to be DOA or such. 

As a reseller, I would not make a point to discuss it. It may bother some, but not from a price point. Typically a cultural issue. 

Tip: don't lead your end buyer thru each room recreating dramatic sounds if cries for help.

Use facts to negotiate better terms and/or price for you, but should not be an issue requiring a discount to most buyers. 

@Rick H. Remember the Stepehnson project I referred to you.

 I remember walking through and the image of the DAO ( Dead *** Owner ) was still in the hardwoods from the stuff that flows out. Creepy. His kid could care less "Sumbitch" is what he called him. Just wanted the leftover dough.

Not sure how that worked out for the end user. But it worked out great for us.

people die in houses all the time.....

I see no issue here.

If it's murder or violent crime, i would be more concerned. If it's natural death i think people can be more ease.

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