Sometimes it seems like the process of buying a home never ends. Even when you’ve completed all your mortgage paperwork and the seller has accepted your offer, there are still factors that can cause the deal to fall through.
One of the most common issues buyers encounter is title issues. Buyers must conduct a title search and acquire title insurance before closing on the property. Today, we’ll cover three of the most common title issues a home buyer might encounter.
Federal or state tax liens
The local, state or federal government can place a lien on a property when the previous owner fails to pay their annual property taxes. A tax lien can feel like a serious red flag. However, often the proceeds of the sale can pay off the lien.
Conflicting claim on the property
In some cases, a co-owner or relative will make a claim for the property you are trying to buy. To remove the “cloud” on the title, you may have to file a quiet title action. Consult with a real estate attorney to learn more about your options.
A contractor who worked on a property but never received their payment can file a contractor’s lien. These are sometimes called mechanic’s liens or construction liens. The important thing is to make sure someone pays off the lien. In some cases, you can leverage the lien to get a lower price on the house.
Title issues can be frustrating, but they don’t have to derail the sale. Working with a title company and an attorney skilled in real estate transactions can help you get back on track.