You can’t buy a home from a beneficiary of a reverse mortgage, without the cooperation of the lender.
The first right of refusal, for a lack of a better way to put it, belongs to the reverse mortgage lender. Once the beneficiary vacates the property for whatever reason, possession ‘reverts’ to the lender, not the occupant, or his heirs.
Meantime, if the beneficiary/occupant wants to sell, he must coordinate that through the reverse mortgage lender. However, it’s REALLY unlkely that any equity from the house will go to the beneficiary of the reverse mortgage (occupant).
It’s somewhat similar to purchasing an REO from a bank, or perhaps a short sale, since the lender has to approve any sale, and will net ALL the proceeds from the transaction.
For that matter, there will be a lien recorded by the lender, against the property, outlining the lender’s interest in the property, that must be satisfied/released, in order for the buyer to secure an insurable title.
The title of the house may still be in the seller’s name. However, again, the reverse mortgage lender must approve the sale. It’s doubtful that you’ll get a deal on this property, as the lender will likely require the house be listed and marketed by either their in-house agent, or a 3rd party of their choosing. And it won’t be in the lender’s best interest to take a hit on their investment.
After all, the lender’s been tapping his fingers on the desk, waiting for the beneficiary to die, so he could capture the equity profits that justified giving the seller a reverse mortgage in the first place. Just saying.