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Why You Should Perform a Property Lien Search Before You Sell

Monday, May 2, 2022

It takes an average of 71 days to sell a home, but title issues can drag out the process even longer. A lien search can bring any necessary problems to the forefront before you sell your home. Liens are both voluntary and involuntary. 

A property lien search is essential because it will find creditor liens on the property, a chain of title issues, land disputes, and divorce proceedings. Settle your title issues before you sell; otherwise, selling can be a nightmare!

Check out these reasons why a lien search is a good idea.

Find Creditor Liens

During a property lien search, your title abstractor may find out about money owed to creditors. A lender can put a lien on real estate for all kinds of loans or other personal property. 

Creditors can also file liens when selling property for gambling debts, contractor loans, or even unpaid taxes

Chain of Title 

Lien searches can discover if a previous property owner is still claiming ownership of the real estate. 

There could also be a previous issue with your commercial real estate or residential real estate where the owner paid the lien, but the lender never resolved the issue. You may have to find the original lender or pull a credit report.

Land Disputes

When selling property, it's best to know where the lines of the property exist. For example, in residential real estate, your neighbor might dispute the end of your property and where their property is. 

Before moving forward, a property lien search might result in a land survey to settle any such issue. 

Divorce Proceedings

If you are in the middle of a divorce, a lien search will show if your spouse is contesting the sale of the property. If both parties don't agree, things could get messy. A property lien search would raise any red flags before a sale.

A lien search will also show child support payments. Divorce proceedings can even affect your commercial real estate. 

Building Code Violations

Local building laws vary in each jurisdiction. A local government will file a lien over building code violations in some cases. 

A lien search will discover how many code violations you have against the property, whether it's a fire code or sidewalk issue. 


Although instances of fraud are rare, a property lien search can find out if someone else says they own the property. A find this like this is typically unexpected!

An issue like this can happen if you have your personal financial information stolen.

Issues a Lien Search Can Find

A lien search can find several issues, including creditor debts, a chain of title issues, land disputes, and divorce proceedings. Building code violations and fraud can also come up during a property lien search. 

Don't hold up the sale of your property! Make sure you have the right people helping you get your real estate transaction moving.

Contact us today for help with a property lien search. We do all of the work for you to make the process go as smoothly as possible!  

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