Estates and Listing Agreements

This is Deirdre Brown you settlement agent serving the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia. Today I want to answer the question of how to execute a listing agreement when the seller is an estate.  

The easiest way to describe this is that the seller is still the deceased person because they are still in title to the property. So in this case let’s say that the deceased person is John Miller and John’s personal representative is Jane Miller. The name of John’s estate will go any place you see seller on the listing agreement, sales contract and on addendums.  Any place that requires a signature, Jane will sign on behalf of John because she’s the personal representative and she’s going to sign it as “The Estate of John Miller by Jane Miller his personal representative”. 

This is similar language that you’re going to use if there is a conservatorship or a guardianship and so in that case would be “John Miller by Jane Miller his conservatory” or “his guardian”.  If you are using a Power of Attorney, the seller is still the person in title but the signature line will read “John Miller by Jane Miller, his attorney in fact”.

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