If you have a lien on your home, whether for taxes or any other reason, then this can complicate things when you eventually decide to sell your property. For starters, you may not be legally able to close on a home sale if you have a lien on your property. Even if your state does allow this, the existence of a lien could turn some buyers off. If you're even thinking about selling a home with a lien on it, there are some things you need to know before you proceed.
Always Verify Your Lien
First of all, the only way to verify that you have a lien is to contact your county clerk. This is where all records of liens are kept. Some county clerk websites will even offer a convenient online search option, which will allow you to search for liens on your property in a matter of minutes. Even if you believe you paid off a lien, it's best to confirm with your county clerk before you proceed with the process of listing your home for sale.
Know Current Market Values
If you still have a lien on your property, it's a good idea to do some research and figure out whether or not it's financially wise to try and sell your home at this point in time. For example, if property values in your area have been on the rise, then you may be able to sell your home and use the additional profits to pay off your lien at closing. On the other hand, if you don't anticipate making a large profit on your home sale, then you may be better off not trying to sell your home at this point in time.
Work With an Attorney
Working with a real estate attorney (such as Levin & Levin, LLP - Attorneys at Law) is always recommended when you're trying to sell a home with a lien--or even trying to pay off a lien. A real estate attorney will be able to assist you with every step of the process, from determining your ability to sell to helping you with the closing paperwork when you do.
Understand the Process
If you decide to pay off your lien before you sell (which may be required in some areas), understand that it can take months or longer before your lien holder will officially cancel the lien. Therefore, if you check your county clerk's office a few weeks after paying and still see the lien listed, this is normal. It can be a very drawn-out process, so plan accordingly.Share
30 October 2015
Stop -Don't sign that! I was unfortunate to learn the hard way that real estate documents should never be signed without a real estate lawyer looking over them. It took nearly two years to undo the damage that was done when I took a few minutes to read and sign a contract to purchase a piece of land. If you are looking to buy land, talk with a real estate attorney. This attorney should always read any contracts or documents that you are presented regarding the property you are purchasing. Find out what could happen if you fail to have a professional read over those documents here on my blog.