Listing a property for a recently widowed seller

by Nick 16. May 2013 14:02

I am listing a property for someone who recently lost their spouse who was also in title.  What should I do to make sure everything is in order prior to them signing the Listing Agreement and Contract to prevent delays in closing?

The real question is; How do they hold title?  

1.  If the title was held in survivorship, then you don't need to do much now. You can normally have the survivor sign the listing agreement and the contract.  You should
     a. make sure they have a death certificate (not just a copy) for the title agency to attach to a survivorship affidavit, and
     b. you should ask if they ever got divorced.  Divorce can remove the survivorship status. Remember, a divorce may not take place in the same County as the property, so we may not find it on our title exam.

2.  If there is not a survivorship deed, then an estate will need to be started right away, so we can get a gauge on what kind of delay there may be and who is authorized to sign your contract. 

It is always a good idea to see if they have copies of their title deeds, and if you are not sure what you are looking at, forward it on to me.