Should i ?

Should i search for liens first on the property before i tie up the deal or tie up the deal then do the search??


Howdy Focusonmoney:

It makes no sense to do lien searches before you tie up the property. You will be doing searches on property that may not even be for sale or you may noy even want to buy once you know the asking price. Even if you know the property is for dale and know the price it is still a waite of money and time to search until you know you have a deal.

If you want to base your offer on the amount owed on the property just ask the owner he payoff or balance. On sub2 deals you would want to know the loan info and make your offer accordingly.

The last house I just bought the loan amount was over $120,000 with $14,000 in back taxes. I did not even know this until the closing. We paid the bank $24,000 for the house. I had the title company do the searching and the seller paid the bill.

I agree with Ted, don’t waste your time and money doing searches until you have the deal tied up.

You can also just ask the seller what liens are on the property. Most of the time they know their mortgage balance, the cost of the windows they put in last year and are still paying on, or that they just filed for bankruptcy, etc…
I find that they are usually forthright in telling you this information, they might just not know the exact amount owed.

One caution: some banks and mortgage companies, will charge up to $75 for a payoff statement and it could take up to two weeks to get. I think it is the ethical thing to do to let the seller know they may be paying for the payoff, especially if you don’t yet have a contract and don’t end up buying the house! Also, if the payoff is requested too far before the closing and expires with no per diem noted, another payoff must be requested and paid for.


Thanks for the reply and one more last question…Can you find out about tax liens on the property by going to the courthouse?