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That Deal Killer, Death


[Photo Credit: tomusan via Flickr]

We were stunned by the amount of email we got over our Cheat Death post, and want to thank all of you who took the time to so gently "correct" us. Lessons learned:

• A death at a property, especially a recent one, is of great importance to Chinese buyers. We sort of knew this, but placed it in the category of ethnic/racist generalizations and urban legend. Like foot-binding and killing girl children. We're sensitive. We also hate getting hate mail, so we just let it slide and figured the agent had left out the words "probate sale." But no, it really matters. The general upshot from readers was that a. the house is in a neighborhood attractive to Chinese buyers, and b. it just gets it out of the way. Expedience, and yet another clue we're in a Pacific Rim city.

•Sellers are required by law to disclose a death on the property during the three years prior. One reader pointed out that the 11 Gilroy Street listing did not disclose that, even though it would be tucked away in the disclosure package:

For some buyers a death in a house is an absolute sale killer, as it were. Bad feng shui for some. Bad vibes for others. A home you wrote about a few days ago [11 Gilroy Street ]neglects to mention in the writeup that, according to the Bayview Station's "Community Update" dated 17 Mar 2005, there was a "death report" filed for that address on Mar 16, 2005.

Oh, yeah. I'm sure the agent and sellers will disclose the death in the paperwork, but by then some buyers will have wasted their time.Deaths are not something you would usually call out in an ad just because it's a waste of print and the facts are all in the disclosure statements anyway. The Arguello Boulevard agent is simply noting that there aren't going to be any gotchas like that at the Arguello address.

· Cheat Death on Arguello Boulevard [Curbed SF]
· 1/1 Under 300K [Curbed SF]