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September 25, 2018 • Stay Connected!

QUESTION:  This is the situation: Seller is a Trust (Mom created the trust). Mom died recently – leaving 4 adult children – and leaving a house in the trust. Daughter #1 is the Representative for the trust and lives in CA. I understand she does need to complete Form 17. One other daughter lives here locally and one son lives in another state. Daughter #4 has lived with Mom in the house for several years as a tenant. When Mom went to assisted living in CA, Daughter #4 remained in the house and will continue to live there until the property is sold. She is also a Washington Licensed Real Estate Agent and is the office manager in a local real estate office. Does Daughter #4 need to complete any type of disclosure?

ANSWER:   To answer this question, broker must understand the relationship between the trust and daughter #4. The question says that daughter #1 is the "representative" for the trust, a term that is not typically used in this context. Is broker actually meaning that #1 is the trustee of the trust? If so, is she the exclusive trustee of the trust? If so, she is the only "seller". What is #4's relationship? Is she actually, only, a beneficiary of the trust? If so, she is not a seller and has no "ownership" interest in the property. She will benefit from the sale of the property but not as a seller. She also has no speaking or contractual authority with respect to sale of the property, if she is only a beneficiary. Broker should get a copy of the trust agreement and deliver that trust agreement to the title officer who will be asked to issue title insurance for the property at the time of sale. That title officer will be able to advise broker, precisely, as to the signature(s) that are required on the deed conveying title to a future buyer and how that signature block should be created. The title officer will also be able to identify, precisely, who is/are the trustee(s) of the trust. If #4 is not a trustee, she is not a seller and she is not required to make disclosure. If she is a trustee, she must disclose that she is a licensed RE broker in all advertising for the property and in the PSA and must also complete the Form 17 based on her actual knowledge. Incidentally, #1 must comply with the Seller Disclosure Act and her "actual knowledge" may be informed by the actual knowledge of #4.



The Legal Hotline Lawyer does not represent Washington REALTORS or its members. To browse through our database of past Q & A's, visit Attorney Annie Fitzsimmons writes the Legal Hotline Question and Answer of the Week. Please submit questions to or leave a message at 800.562.6027. Please include your NRDS number.

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The WR Leadership Institute is an intensive and dynamic leadership experience where participants will combine individual study and group sessions to develop their leadership skills. Join fellow REALTORS® in a powerful series of retreats, including sessions on leadership skills, team-building exercises, procedures for goal setting, personal profile analysis, network building and improving communications skills.
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REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey
August 2018 Highlights
(Source: Economists' Outlook) The REALTORS® Buyer Traffic Index registered at 57 (64 in August 2017)...The REALTORS® Seller Traffic Index registered at 44 (47 in August 2017)...The REALTORS® Confidence Index—Six–Month Outlook Current Conditions registered at 58 for detached single-family, 48 for townhome, and 46 for condominium properties (an index above 50 indicates market conditions are expected to improve).
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Primary Mortgage Rates Survey
(updated every Thursday)  Source:  Freddie Mac
  September 20, 2018       30-yr FRM  15-Yr FRM  5/1-Yr ARM
 Average Rates  4.65%  4.11%  3.92%
 Fees & Points  0.5
 Margin  N/A  N/A  2.76

  September 13, 2018       30-yr FRM  15-Yr FRM  5/1-Yr ARM
 Average Rates  4.60%  4.06%  3.93%
 Fees & Points  0.5
 Margin  N/A  N/A  2.77

  September 6, 2018       30-yr FRM  15-Yr FRM  5/1-Yr ARM
 Average Rates  4.54%  3.99%  3.93%
 Fees & Points  0.5
 Margin  N/A  N/A  2.77

 August 30, 2018       30-yr FRM  15-Yr FRM  5/1-Yr ARM
 Average Rates  4.52%  3.97%  3.85%
 Fees & Points  0.5
 Margin  N/A  N/A  2.77

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02-OCT Current IssuesWenatchee3.0More info...
02-OCT NAR Code of EthicsWenatchee3.0More info...
02-OCT NAR Code of Ethics Olympia 3.0 More info...
04-OCT Tech Edge SeaTac   More info...
17-OCT OSCARPort Townsend4.0More info...
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18-OCT  NAR Code of Ethics Webinar Live Webinar 3.0 More info...
23-OCT Draft Like a LawyerTukwila15More info...
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Washington REALTORS® will host COE Webinars starting in August to assist members with completing the mandatory training. Don't wait until the last minute, though! These webinars are capped and they fill up fast...