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CalAttorney2, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 10244
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing HOAs, homeowners, businesses and others in real estate matters.
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My father recently died and my mom is selling the house. A

Customer Question

My father recently died and my mom is selling the house. A potential buyer told her he would not buy the home until she ran an ad in the paper for 4 weeks as this is required in GA when one owner of a property dies so any potential creditor could lay claim to the home. Her name was on the deed as joint ownership and sole survivor ship. Is this true? Does she have to wait 4 weeks and run a notice in the paper before she can sell the house?
JA: OK. The Real Estate Lawyer will need to help you with this. Have you consulted a lawyer yet?
Customer: No.
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Real Estate Lawyer should know?
Customer: No she has a will and a deed stating that she is sole owner. She is ready to sell and move. Was planning to sell and leave this week. Does she have to run a notice and wait
JA: Our top Real Estate Lawyer is ready to take your case. Just pay the $5 fully refundable deposit and I'll fill the Real Estate Lawyer in on everything we've discussed. You can go back and forth with the Real Estate Lawyer until you're 100% satisfied. We guarantee it.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

Dear Customer,

What the buyer may be concerned about (and while I do not believe that running an ad in the paper for 4 weeks is going to actually deal with the problem), is that if your father's estate was never probated - meaning his remaining assets and debts were never settled in court (so creditors were never paid off, and remaining assets were not distributed), that there may be outstanding liens against his half-interest in the property that were created prior to his death.

Unfortunately, what your mother is working with here is not a legal standard, but rather satisfying a buyer's condition of sale. So she can (a) give in and run the ad in a periodical, or (b) she can refuse to and find a different buyer, or (c) she can refuse to and tell the buyer that they can either purchase the property from her "as is" or she will look for other buyers.

But running the ad does not have any independent legal effect.

If your father had outstanding creditors that may make it less appealing for your mother to actually run the ad (not because these creditors would have a claim against the property (they would have to have actually perfected their claim and secured their interest before he died), but because they may want to try to attach other assets of his estate).

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
They were elderly and didn't have credit cards or use credit at all. Other than the 7k owed on the property which mother could pay off prior to the sale if needed, there are no debts. They lived on a small budget and paid monthly utilities & car ins. etc. The only other assets would be a truck which is worth about 5,000 that was paid off years ago with a clear title. I cant think of any other assets or creditors. I have reviewed bank records and files and show no purchases. So it sounds like she does not need to run this ad.
Is there any reason she would need to have his name taken off the deed prior to the sell since he is deceased?
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

Again, I really don't know why they are demanding the ad, I don't think it accomplishes what they want it to.

Most buyers do not require an intermediate deed from the joint tenancy to the surviving owner, however, some buyers do prefer that the surviving owner execute a "quitclaim" deed from the joint tenancy to themselves as a "sole owner" so that they can then execute a "warranty deed" from themselves to the buyer.

What this does is it gives the buyer recourse against the seller (your mother) in the event that there is some claim against title related to the deed.