A lien on a house is a way for a creditor to collect what you owe them. It is a public record the creditor files with the county as an incentive for you to pay them. Liens can come from unpaid taxes, missed mortgage payments, unpaid work a contractor does on your home or other sources. As long as the lien is on your home, you will have a problem selling it, as mortgage companies will generally not finance your home if it has a lien.
But does that mean you can’t sell a home with, for example, a tax lien on it?
Can You Sell a Home With a Tax Lien on It?
Your best bet is simply to remove the lien. When it comes to a tax lien, removing it is usually quite easy. Simply contact the IRS or state or local government agency and explain the situation. They will almost always be willing to set up a payment plan for you to pay off your debt.
You will want to do this anyway since you are in violation of tax law and are building up fines and interest the longer you don’t pay your tax debt. Once you set up a plan, they should remove your lien.
Can You Sell a Home With Other Liens on It?
If you have liens other than tax liens, the situation is similar. However, your other creditors may even agree to a settlement of less than the amount you actually owe.
Once you make these deals and get the liens removed, you are free to sell your home. What’s especially exciting about this approach is that once you have your deals in place, you can actually pay them out of the proceeds from the sale of your house when you sell.
How Do You Begin to Try to Sell a Home With a Lien on It?
If you’re going to sell your home and you have liens on it, the best way to start is by contacting your local trusted real estate agent. If you are selling a home in York, PA or surrounding areas, contact CENTURY 21 Core Partners now to find an agent experienced with handling liens.
While you can try to remove liens yourself, an experienced realtor can help you with expert advice on who to settle with first, how to conduct the negotiation and how to fold the debt payments into the sale to maximize your benefits. A lien is a challenge when trying to sell a house, but it’s not an insurmountable one — especially when you are working with the right real estate partner.