Whether you're looking to buy a home or a piece of property or you're looking to sell your own, you can benefit from finding out whether there are any liens against it before you move any further along in the sales or buying process.
If you or your buyer have a title search performed, it's likely likely that any liens will be uncovered. Depending on the contingencies listed in the purchase agreement, this can greatly impact whether a sale is made or, at the very least, cause it to be delayed.
Three of the most common types of liens that exist on properties are tax, contractor or mechanic's and judgment liens.
Tax liens can be filed by a county assessor's offices for delinquent property taxes. Likewise, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) can place one on your home if you are neglectful in paying your federal income taxes.
A mechanic's or contractor's lien is one that can placed on the property if you fail to properly compensate a contractor for either supplies or services that they use to repair your home.
Judgment liens can be placed on your property if you owe money to a third party. Most often they're placed on homes in delinquent child support cases or in an effort to collect on unpaid medical or credit card debts.
If a title search reveals that a property has a lien on it, the information isn't always accurate. There are many cases in which one is listed although it's been paid off. Provided that proof can be shown that is has, it may be removed. It can be a tedious process though.
Liens that are proven to be valid may increase the cost of the property that you're looking to purchase. Navigating the removal of a lien or buying a home with one is something you may want to discuss in more detail with an experienced Augusta residential real estate attorney.