How a Property Lien Could Hold Up the Sale of Your Home

When it comes to title insurance, property liens are common issues - and they can seriously slow down your real estate transaction.

But what is a property lien, and how can it hold up the sale of your home?

What is a Property Lien?

A property lien is a type of legal notice that says a property owner didn’t pay a debt. Creditors can put a lien against your home so that when you sell it, you’re required to use some of your proceeds to pay them. Liens typically come from court judgments, unpaid bills and unpaid taxes.

There are three main types of liens:

  • Mechanic’s lien

  • Judgment lien

  • Tax lien

Mechanic’s Lien

Contractors, like carpenters, painters, plumbers and other repair companies, can put a mechanic’s lien on your home as a form of insurance to make sure they get paid.

Judgment Lien

When you lose a court case and there’s a judgment against you, the party that won the court case can file a judgment lien against your home until you make the payment.

Tax Lien

If you don’t pay your taxes, the government can file a tax lien against your property.

How a Property Lien Could Hold Up the Sale of Your Home

A title company will discover the lien against your home, and when they find it, they’ll put the whole transaction on hold. Mortgage lenders won’t finance it until the lien is paid off - and usually, that’s the seller’s responsibility. If you refuse to pay or if you want to contest the lien, your transaction will be on hold until you resolve the issue one way or another.

Are You Selling a Home in Lakewood or Long Beach?


If you’re selling a home in Lakewood or Long Beach, we can help. Call us at 562-882-1581 to find out how we’ll market your house to all the right buyers so you can sell it quickly and at the right price.


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