FIDUCIARIES AND THE REAL ESTATE SELLER DISCLOSURE LAW—The Exception to the Exception

April 8, 2020
By Robyn Eisen
Posted in Real Estate

In Pennsylvania, sellers of a residential property are required by law to disclose the condition of the home before an agreement of sale is signed.  68 P.S. § 7301 et seq.  The Real Estate Seller Disclosure Law (“RESDL”) applies to most residential real estate transactions in Pennsylvania.  68 P.S. § 7302.  However there are number of exceptions were disclosures do not have to be made.  One of those exceptions are transfers by a fiduciary in the course of the administration of a decedent’s estate, guardian, conservatorship or trust.  68 P.S. 7302 (a)(1).

Often a Seller who is acting as a fiduciary hears about that exception and thinks that no further action needs taken on his/her part.  This is not case.  The fiduciary still needs to acknowledge his/her position as a fiduciary and assert that he/she is not required to fill out the Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement (“Disclosure Statement”). Unfortunately, the fiduciary is not quite off the hook!  Before the fiduciary executes the Disclosure Statement, there is an exception to the exception…

If the fiduciary has knowledge of a material defect in the house, the fiduciary must disclose.  A common law duty still exists by the fiduciary to disclose the defect.  There is no blanket exception from a duty to disclose a known material defect when selling a home.  Knowledge of a material defect must always be disclosed to a prospective buyer.

For any questions regarding the Real Estate Disclosure Law, please feel free to contact Robyn B. Eisen at 412-227-029 or reisen@smgglaw.com.