Liens on a Property? How to Find Out

Find liens on a homeYour offer has been accepted. You’re counting the days until you can move into your new home, but one question is lingering in the back of your mind: What happens if the property has liens on it?  Fortunately, the title company or agent typically will uncover any liens — unpaid property taxes, contractor mechanics liens, homeowners association dues or other debts levied against the property — while conducting a title search during the escrow process. It’s still crucial, however, that you protect yourself by reviewing all the documents that you receive during escrow — something most buyers fail to do.  Here’s what you need to know.

How Liens are Discovered

Most liens are going to be discovered by the title insurance company during its examination of the chain of title as it issues a preliminary title insurance policy to you. The title company will note any liens on the title abstract and/or title schedule of exclusions. It then will alert the real estate and escrow agents, and the liens will typically be paid off at closing out of the seller’s proceeds.  As to liens not recorded in public records or not discovered on title: The title company is still most likely going to discover these from seller disclosures and alert you. Additionally, the title company will possibly insure title for these liens even if it does not discover them, subject to your title insurance policy and schedule of exclusions.

Carefully Review the Documents

In a normal sale, it would be very rare that a buyer would be responsible for paying a lien after the sale. But you still need to use common sense.  Buyers must review, preferably with their title agent or an attorney, all the title documents — abstract, title policy, schedule of exclusions and plat or survey — to see whether any important issues are not covered by insurance, such as easements, former liens not lifted, current liens or lot line issues.

Buyer Beware

If the property is under construction, the seller has IRS issues, something seems strange about the sale or the seller is not responsive to your or the title company’s information requests, then that increases the chances that something is amiss related to liens or the title. In these cases, make sure you seek legal advice. It’s money well spent.  Remember, your real estate agent isn’t a title lawyer. Don’t assume your agent or someone else will review the title documents and be able to fully comprehend them. It’s up to you to protect yourself by reviewing the related title documents.

One final note: This information refers to the traditional process of buying a property listed in the multiple listing service (MLS). If you are buying a property at a bank foreclosure auction or county tax sale, you should contact a lawyer for assistance, as a title insurance policy binder typically isn’t issued before sale.

From MSN Real Estate

55 Results
3
Beds
2 | 1
Baths
1,700
SqFt
(26)
Open House: Feb 25, 2018 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
 
#LO10161212 | Single Family Home
 
2
Beds
3 | 1
Baths
N/A
SqFt
(21)
 
 
#LO9975624 | Single Family Home
 
2
Beds
2 | 1
Baths
1,682
SqFt
(29)
 
 
#LO10144456 | Single Family Home
 
3
Beds
2 | 2
Baths
1,832
SqFt
(30)
 
 
#LO10162109 | Single Family Home
 
3
Beds
2 | 1
Baths
2,214
SqFt
(28)
Open House: Feb 25, 2018 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
 
#LO10157238 | Single Family Home
 
3
Beds
2 | 2
Baths
1,854
SqFt
(30)
Open House: Feb 25, 2018 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
 
#LO10157015 | Single Family Home
 
3
Beds
3 | 1
Baths
2,014
SqFt
(30)
 
 
#LO10155205 | Single Family Home
 
2
Beds
2
Baths
1,399
SqFt
(30)
 
 
#LO10152847 | Single Family Home
 
2
Beds
2
Baths
1,700
SqFt
(29)
 
 
#LO10151532 | Single Family Home
 
3
Beds
3 | 1
Baths
2,437
SqFt
(23)
Open House: Feb 24, 2018 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
 
#LO10145968 | Single Family Home
 
3
Beds
3 | 1
Baths
2,257
SqFt
(30)
 
 
#LO10146549 | Single Family Home
 
4
Beds
3 | 1
Baths
N/A
SqFt
(30)
 
 
#LO10157072 | Single Family Home
 
© 2018 BRIGHT. All rights reserved.
The data relating to real estate for sale on this website appears in part through the BRIGHT Internet Data Exchange program, a voluntary cooperative exchange of property listing data between licensed real estate brokerage firms in which Neighborhood Choice Realty participates, and is provided by BRIGHT through a licensing agreement. Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Neighborhood Choice Realty are marked with the IDX icon, and detailed information about each listing includes the name of the listing broker. The information provided by this website is for the personal, non-commercial use of consumers and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Some properties which appear for sale on this website may no longer be available because they are under contract, have Closed or are no longer being offered for sale. Home sale information is not to be construed as an appraisal and may not be used as such for any purpose. BRIGHT MLS is a provider of this home sale information and has compiled content from various sources. Some properties represented may not have actually sold due to reporting errors. Some real estate firms do not participate in IDX and their listings do not appear on this website. Some properties listed with participating firms do not appear on this website at the request of the seller. Information Deemed Reliable But Not Guaranteed.
MRIS (Bright MLS) data last updated at February 22, 2018 12:55 PM ET