If the Owner is Dead.....Who signs the PURCHASE AGREEMENT??? - Posted by Tony James

Posted by JoeB(Atlanta) on March 25, 2000 at 15:57:52:

Hi Tony, ignoring the financial details of your deal and just focusing on the legal side…

Assuming there was no will–You’re describing a deal that involves estate law and you should probably ask your local attorney because estate law varies widely from state to state. It could be as simple as all heirs signing a document IN AGREEMENT of how to dispose of the house, or could be lot more.

Consult an atty before signing anything–we’ve been burned before when we tried to ‘guess’ how to handle it.

Best of success,
Joe Brillante

If the Owner is Dead…Who signs the PURCHASE AGREEMENT??? - Posted by Tony James

Posted by Tony James on March 25, 2000 at 13:18:35:

There is a house I want to buy. The owner was a friend of the Family, but she died a couple years ago. THe place is worth at LEAST 120k after fix-up. She had 3 kids. 2 want to sell the place, 1 doesn’t, because it was his moma’s house. He just got out of Jail and is flat broke. The House needs repairs, and he doesn’t want to move out. By the way…The House is FREE AND CLEAR, Paid for.

SO what I offered him is… $10,000 each. Him and His brother, and sister. I have a 3 Bed room House, and a DUplex 3br down, and 2 br up. I would sale him these two places on a Contract for deed. The Rents come in about $850 ater expences. His $10,000 portion would cover the money down for these places. Also I would rent to own him his moms house. With the money for the two properties, that would pay his monthly payments where he lives. Also I would give him $5,000 For his pocket, for helping me do the repairs on the house.

So basicly I am estimating putting 45k into a 120k property.

Now my MAIN question is…WHO signs the purchase agreement. I want to go over there today and give all three Brothers and sister a check for $500 each as earnest money, but whos SIGNATURE do I need. The title of the house is still in their moms name it looks like. But she’s dead.

Re: If the Owner is Dead…Who signs the PURCHASE AGREEMENT??? - Posted by Charles

Posted by Charles on March 25, 2000 at 16:16:36:


My father died intestate (i.e. without a will) in 1998. While the siblings agreed on nothing else, we did manage to agree on appointing my sister as the Estate Adminstrator. Once so appointed, she was authorized to sign any/all legal documents required to manage and or dispose of the properties. I’m sure a similar law prevails in your state. Note: the sale of personal property over the objections of even one heir can be successfully challenged and is reversable in court. You’re much better off getting agreement from all heirs. Might cost you more $$ now, but will eliminate headaches in the long run. Good luck.

Who is the legal owner of the home? - Posted by Michael Morrongiello

Posted by Michael Morrongiello on March 25, 2000 at 16:11:54:

If the woman passed away then you need to see how she HELD title prior to her death? (look at the deed). If she held title individually with no persons stipulated as having “rights of survivorship” then her estate become the “owner” of her property upon her demise.
Find out if there was a will? Who was the executor or executrix for the estate and in all likelyhood the estate would have had to or WILL have to go through probate.

If the estate WAS probated then they shouldn be a deed from the executor or executrix on behalf of the estate to its heirs. If this transpired then study that deed carefully.

Joe, is correct it would be wise to retain the services of a competent real estate attorney and also insist in you obtaining an owners title insurance policy to make sure you obtain CLEAR title to the property.

It might be wise to have all three parties sign your agreement and then also stipulate in the agreement that they agree to work diligently with you to provide marketable title to the property. Then get a title company going on the research of the title.

Michael Morrongiello