I lived in a rental house once, and had a clause in my lease to have the right to make a first offer if the house were to be placed on the market. The owner of the house died in a car accident, and left the house to his ex. She disclaimed the house (I assume that's what she did--she declined to take title).
I was told the estate was going to sell the house. IIRC, the same ex-wife was executor. I did a little research, found out the remaining loan balance, and made an offer of the outstanding balance plus $1500 for attorney fees. The offer was accepted. I assume the estate came out relatively neutral on the transaction.
I'm not sure why the ex didn't want the house, other than fear and lack of local knowledge. I think she must have questioned whether the house could be worth the outstanding balance. Since the house was in a desirable area of downtown Juneau, I just couldn't imagine it wouldn't be worth the balance on the loan. It had been hit by a mudslide a couple of years earlier, had an encroachment issue with a porch, and had had a carpenter ant infestation (which had been mitigated). I held the house for 6 years, and sold it for nearly double what I paid. By then I had resolved the encroachment. The hillside above had been stabilized by the city. Yearly $100 preventative spray kept any ants at bay. Worked for me