Can You Sell a House With a Property Tax Lien?
Life is unpredictable, and sometimes, despite our best efforts, we find ourselves in difficult financial circumstances. Getting out from under a debt can be stressful and overwhelming, particularly if you don’t know your options.
If you have a property tax lien on your home, your best option might be to sell, but selling a house with a lien is generally a little more complicated, and you’ll want to understand the process before making any big decisions.
What is a Property Tax Lien?
A property tax lien is a lien placed on your home when you owe property taxes to your city or county. Sometimes, property taxes are built into your monthly mortgage by your lender. Otherwise, property owners pay taxes separately for the annual bill.
Whether you fall behind on your mortgage or have unpaid property taxes, the government can put a lien on your property, frequently resulting in foreclosure. Unresolved property taxes are just like any other debt. Interest and penalties will continue to accrue with each passing day, so it’s a good idea to address the problem as quickly as possible.
Confronting a Property Lien
Your home is likely your most valuable asset. If you’re struggling financially and don’t have the means to clear your unpaid taxes outright, your best option to settle the debt may be to sell your home. We can show you how to remove a tax lien.
We’re frequently asked the question, “Can you sell a house with a property tax lien?” The answer is complicated. Ultimately you will need to deal with your tax debt before the house can close escrow. When you sell a home with a tax lien, you’re not transferring the lien with the house. The debt is yours, and you will have to resolve it before the sale can close.
However, you can begin the process of selling a house with a lien. It can take time to resolve tax debt, and you don’t want to wait until the house closes before dealing with it.
When confronting such a situation, you need to know how to remove a tax lien. Essentially, you have three options.
- Pay the Debt
Obviously, the easiest, most straightforward way to settle any debt is to pay it. If you have the financial means to pay the lien, interest, and penalties owed, you should. This can help you to avoid a foreclosure or tax levy.
You’ll want to work directly with your city or county to clear the debt and remove the lien.
- Dispute the Lien
If, for example, the tax debt is owned by someone else or you have already paid the taxes, you should contact your city or county government and resolve the issue as quickly as possible. Disputing tax debt isn’t easy, but it’s worth pursuing in some cases.
- Sell Your House
If you find yourself unable to settle unpaid taxes outright, you may find that selling your home is the next best option. You can’t close escrow on a home without resolving the lien, but you can start selling your house in order to use the proceeds from your sale to pay to remove the lien.
Tips for Selling a Home with a Property Tax Lien
There are some essential things to consider if you’re selling a house with a lien.
- Know the Value of Your Home
Before selling any home, it’s important to determine how much it’s worth. You’ll want to explore listing and sale prices for comparable homes in your area so that you can set a reasonable asking price and evaluate any offers made on the property.
The team at Simple Sale Central Florida has extensive experience selling homes throughout Central Florida from Tampa to Orlando to Cocoa Beach. We understand the market in your area, as well as the complexity involved in selling a property with a lien.
- Be Honest
Whether they’re in denial or simply embarrassed about their debt, some homeowners think they can keep the property tax lien quiet until after the home has closed. You may be reluctant to alert buyers to your lien, but honesty is the best policy here. It’s never a good idea to mislead a buyer or an agent, and a quick title search will show existing tax liens on your property anyway.
The bottom line is that you can’t complete your home’s sale until your debt is resolved, so there’s no benefit to keeping it a secret.
It is helpful to have a knowledgeable real estate professional in your corner throughout the process of selling a home to help you navigate and ensure things run smoothly. At Simple Sale Central Florida, we are familiar with the intricacies of the property tax laws and regulations specific to Florida, making us uniquely qualified to walk you through the process.
Find the Right Buyer
While some home buyers are reluctant to purchase a house with a lien, others aren’t dissuaded by the extra steps involved in buying these properties. You’ll want to work with the latter.
Connecting with a qualified, committed buyer is an integral step in getting out from under your debt. Simple Sale Central Florida represents many verified cash buyers looking to invest in difficult to sell homes. Our team can be your link to the market you need to tap into in order to sell your home for a fair price.
Selling a home can be stressful under the best circumstances, but particularly with the added complications of a property tax lien. You’re likely eager to have it resolved as quickly as possible. At Simple Sale Central Florida, selling challenging homes is our specialty, and we’re equipped to deal with every tax situation.
You’re not in this alone. The qualified professionals at Simple Sale Central Florida can answer that complicated question, “Can you sell a house with property taxes owed?” by addressing your unique needs. Call us today at (407) 338-4183 to get started. Let us help you resolve your situation and restore your peace of mind.
This article is meant for informational purposes only and is not intended to be construed as financial, tax, legal, real estate, insurance, or investment advice. Simple Sale encourages you to reach out to an advisor regarding your own situation. Please consult with your advisor when making legal or financial decisions.