Can I sell a house with a tax lien?

home with pathway

Selling a house is not an easy task especially if you want to sell your house fast. For many people, their house is their biggest financial asset and one of the most sentimental parts of their life. Just like everyone else, you probably have put a lot of money, effort and time into making your house special – you finished your deck repair, interior or exterior renovation process and now it’s high time to get intentional about making it someone else’s place.

On the way of selling the property, one may come across not only to emotional difficulties but as well as to many problems causing different inconveniences: a lot of paperwork, a lot of money and nervous breakdowns.

For example, one major problem homeowners face while trying to sell the house fast is a tax lien. Only a few people know their rights and what can be done in such situations. Some people have heard rumors, others are hopeless, but what’s the best solution? This article is the answer to all those people who ask if it’s possible to sell a house that has a tax lien on it. Let’s see!

Tax Lien: What’s that?

Many have heard about the property tax liens but not many people know what’s that. Well, when a landowner/homeowner is facing some problems with paying their taxes, the country (or the city) where the house is located has all the legal rights to place a lien due to the given authority. This is a legal claim for the unpaid taxes.  This is one of the most frequent ways of collecting the money creditors own.

According to the NTLA (National Tax Lien Association) approximately $14 billion taxes are not paid every year in the US. Yes, many people nowadays have a tax lien on their property and there is nothing dramatic about it, however, when you want to sell your house that has a tax lien on it, you should think twice about your actions to succeed.

Possible ways of selling the property

house with keys

Some people would say it’s not possible to tell the property if it has a lien on it because you first must satisfy the lien before you can sell or refinance your home. This statement is somehow true, but technically we’d say that in such cases there are still a few options. Everything is possible and here your property can be sold ‘’as is’’. The process is going to be very stressful, complicated and strenuous – you need to lock your emotions and forget about the keys.

All we need in such situations are a professional touch and our imagination. Don’t worry because even if the debt is more than the value of your house, it’s still possible to sell it with a lien on it. There is nothing impossible.

To start, you need to hire an expert who will keep in touch with the lien holder to negotiate and agree on a partial or full release of the lien. The lien-holder will most probably take your offer. If he doesn’t agree, make sure he understands that it’s better to take at least something rather than nothing at all. Try not to tell them more than they need to know.

During this process it’s important to know your rights and obligations, as well as you, need to understand what types of judgments and liens are there against your property. The overall procedure for each lien is different and in order to successfully sell your property, you need to have the right attitude to solve that very problem.

We need to mention that there are, of course, certain types of liens that can hardly ever be negotiated but yours is most probably not one of those.

The next step would be locating a qualified buyer who would like to get a house with a lien. This will not be easy as no one wants extra problems but again remember that everything is possible – you never know if you never try!
The potential buyer of your house or property should be someone who understands that you want to sell your property as is.

Can I sell the house on my own?

At this stage, it’s important to understand that no matter how clever you are, a professional touch of an expert is an obligation. We can bring a lot of examples where only a professional can solve a certain problem, and this case is surely one of those.

house with money

You may not be aware, but all the creditors know that many homeowners have absolutely no idea about their possible options as well as don’t understand their rights of resolving a lien. So for this reason, keep in mind that the creditor will most probably negotiate only when they feel like you have got an expert on your side who thoroughly understands the process and knows how to solve such problems.

The experienced title company or investor can teach everything you need to know and say to creditors when settling liens. As we mentioned, the cases are different and very often the best option would be not to tell the lien holder that you are about to sell your property.

At the same time, there might be cases where it’s obligatory to tell them about your plans as they will be happy to wait for the settlement payment (they know it will come from closing proceeds).

Final Thoughts

homes with paperwork

There is a bunch of information on the internet about the cons and pros of buying and selling a house that has a lien on it. There are many articles that will assure it’s not possible to sell your property or house but how proper are all those pieces of information? Who are the authors of those articles? If you want to look for information about such cases on the internet, try to read articles from trusted sources.

No matter what you read on the internet, remember that it is a free platform where everyone expresses their opinion – the wrong ones as well.

Long story short, what we advise and what the best option would be is to approach the professional expert who will understand the case and tell you what to do.

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