The owner and the listing broker executed a listing agreement for the sale of the home. The owner has now died. The owner was unmarried and has one heir, an adult son or daughter. The adult son wants to continue to list the home with the same listing broker. Can the adult son or daughter sign a new listing agreement with the listing broker?

Upon the death of the owner of the home the listing agreement terminated. The listing broker should determine if there are any estate planning documents such as a will or living trust that authorizes the son to act on behalf of the deceased seller. If a living trust and the son or daughter is the trustee, the son should immediately be able to execute a listing agreement. If there is no living trust, probate will generally be required whether the owner of the home died with a will or intestate. Upon the opening of the probate, however, the personal representative (executor) generally has the immediate authority to sign a listing agreement.
Arizona REALTOR® June 2009