LIENS: What a buyer and seller needs to know.
What is a lien?
A lien is a legal notice. It’s attached to your property title because of an unpaid debt. It gives the unpaid party a legal claim to a portion of your property when it’s sold, and you typically can’t sell or refinance your property in the Brazos County if the lien isn’t cleared.
Has someone filed a lien against me?
Homeowners won’t always know if a lien is a filed against their property. For instance, if the seller hasn’t paid the mandatory HOA fees (Homeowners Association). As per their deed restrictions, the subdivision can file a lien with the county and the seller won’t be able to sell until it’s satisfied. This can take place at the time of closing. But finding out if there are liens is fairly simple—and by finding out early, you can take steps so that it will not hinder selling your home. Here’s how to find out if there’s a lien on your property, and what to do if you do find one.
Brazos County Public Record Links:
Liens are a matter of public records by address online, within the Brazos County, or on anyone else’s property. A municipal lien search looks for unrecorded property issues that a traditional title search won’t uncover. This includes unpaid utility bills, code violations, special assessments, Brazos County property taxes, and open or expired permits.
You can also hire a title company to do the legwork for you, but there will be a charge. For the most part it’s going to do the exact same thing you’d do anyway. If you have your eye on a property, it’s a good idea to conduct your own search as well so you don’t run into any surprises and unnecessary time delays at the last minute.
What to do if a lien is discovered:
If the buyer or seller does find a lien or assessment, (or one you want to purchase), don’t panic. If the lien is paid off already, you may just have to contact the appropriate party with proof in the form of a lien release. But if it hasn’t been paid, you’ll need to sort this out before your home sale goes through.
Liens can become an issue for everyone involved, especially if the total lien on a property add up to more than the contract sales price. If this is the case, the seller will have to bring cash to cover the difference at closing. If the seller lacks the cash available for this, the buyers may have to help clear the lien with their own money, or walk away from the deal. So, time is of the essence.
When you need help with your HOMEwork, experience counts. Call Brazos County Realty and ask the experts.