The owner knew she was ill, and listed the house for sale prior passing away, and was a sole owner - no mortgage, was not living in the property that she listed, and we placed an offer that was the best one. All other offers have dropped out. The owner lived abroad, as does her family, and they have no interest in keeping the house (according to the listing agent.) She passed away two months ago already; we heard the family was indecisive about what estate attorney they were going to use, but have now supposedly met with one two weeks ago. The listing agent said the heirs and the estate attorney are aware of the offer on the table...we just haven't heard anything else and we we are ok waiting this out...but would kind of like an idea on when we might know anything. Meanwhile taxes and condo fees have not been paid for two months. Any advice would be appreciated.
The sale might need to be supervised by a probate court but keep in touch with the estate attorney on this.
From your facts the owner never accepted your offer and therefore no contract was signed. Therefore at the moment you have nothing. That condo fees and taxes are unpaid aren't your problem; taxes have to go unpaid for two years before the locality can even think about selling the property to pay them.
If you want it, and have the time and patience to wait, then communicate that thru the agent to whomever is handling this for the family. It is likely it will be sold through the probate process.
Getting a decedent's estate under way through the probate process takes time - more so with the dynamics you've hinted at. There are a number of different directions it could go so there's no way to say what will ultimately happen.
This was tagged real estate, which is appropriate; a better tag would be probate and I'm moving it there.
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Mr. Hart is completely accurate. You have no rights whatsoever as no contract was ever accepted. You can wait it out (potentially years) and see if the estate, or the heirs, accept your offer (assuming it is even still valid, which depends upon language in the contract/offer that you submitted), or you can withdraw the offer (again assuming it is even still valid) and move on and find another house to buy.
Evan Farr is Certified as an Elder Law Attorney by NELF (National Elder Law Foundation), which is approved by the American Bar Association, and is a member of the Council of Advanced Practitioners of NAELA (National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys). Evan is licensed to practice law and has offices in Virginia, DC and Maryland. NOTICE - Unless expressly stated otherwise, this communication: (1) is not legal advice absent an existing attorney-client relationship between us; (2) does not create an attorney-client relationship; (3) does not constitute an offer, acceptance, or contract amendment; (4) may contain confidential or legally privileged information protected by the attorney-client relationship and/or work product privilege; (5) is only for the use of the individual to whom it is intended by the sender to be sent, and if you are not such recipient, disclosure, copying, distribution or reliance upon this communication is prohibited; and (6) is not intended, and cannot be used, to avoid tax-related penalties pursuant to treasury department circular 230.
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