Why isn't he paying those off, Shawna?
I think I speak for the entire real estate community in saying that we want buyers to enter the market, but I'm guess that with $18K in credit card debt, he doesn't have much cash on hand, and one thing that we think responsible homeowners should have is six months of cash or liquid assets on hand, justincase, and believe you me, just-in-case happens all too often to new homeowners.
People buying houses together should have partnership agreements, and an hour's visit with a family law attorney beats you being incapacitated and the two families arguing about how to dispose of the property and which side gets how much.
So, to answer your question, he may not have to pay those cards off first, and there are two tiny little details to attend to before you actually close on a property.
All the best,